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Herschel Alt Dead at 84

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Herschel Alt, a prominent expert on child mental health and welfare, who served for more than three decades as director of the Jewish Board of Guardians, died here Monday at the age of 84.

Born in the Ukraine, Alt came to the United States in 1923 from Toronto, Canada, where he was associated with the Toronto Federation of Jewish Philanthropies from 1917. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Alt worked in child mental health in Los Angeles and St. Louis until the early 1940’s, when he joined the Jewish Board of Guardians in New York, now the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s services.

Until his retirement in 1965 Alt also served as an adviser on child welfare to the Israeli government and to the World Health Organization of the United Nations.

Alt was also the author of several books, among them “Forging Tools for Mental Health,” and “Residential Treatment for Disturbed Children.” He also wrote with his late wife Edith Seltzer Alt “Russia’s Children,” a study of the Soviet Union’s child welfare system.

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