CHICAGO (May. 17)
A “joint memorandum of understanding” between the Maccabi World Union (MWU) and the World Confederation of Jewish Community Centers (WCJCC) was unanimously approved yesterday by the Board of Directors of the WCJCC.
The announcement of the historic agreement was made by Esther Leah Ritz, WCJCC president, after a meeting at the Bernard Horwich Jewish Community Center here. The Board meeting of the WCJCC was held in conjunction with the five-day biennial convention of the JWB, which concluded yesterday. The joint memorandum had already been approved by the World Congress of the MWU on April 21 in Jerusalem. This marks the first time that such an agreement has been signed by a Zionist-oriented agency and an organization which, while non-ideological, is committed to strengthening the connection between Israel and diaspora Jewry.
Both the WCJCC and the MWU concentrate on providing informal Jewish education and cultural programs for all ages as a means of strengthening the Jewish people and enhancing the connections between Israel and world Jewry. The MWU has 300,000 members in Maccabi clubs in 38 countries. It has expanded beyond the provision of sports activities to promote Jewish and Zionist education.
The WCJCC, founded in 1977, is an international body of national and continental networks of Jewish community centers and similar agencies. It promotes an exchange of Jewish program resources and materials and helps improve the training skills of professionals and volunteers in local Jewish Community Center clubs. The largest affiliate of WCJCC is JWB, the network of JCCS. YM and YWHAS and Jewish communal camps in North America
The Israel Federation of Community Centers is the second largest WCJCC affiliate. The federation includes the Israel Association of Community Centers, a network of 127 non-ideological community centers, and centers run by Histadrut, Naamat and other ideological organizations as well as a number of municipalities in Israel.
THE JOINT MEMORANDUM
As the result of recent consultations between Dr. Israel Peled of MWU and Mrs. Ritz the following joint memorandum of understanding was developed:
“MWU and WCJCC believe that they have certain common aims in serving the Jewish community. The two organizations agree to cooperate at the international level in all matters of common concern. Each organization will invite representatives of the other to participate in major world-wide or regional meetings.
“MWU and WCJCC will encourage cooperation between their respective local and national affiliates in areas of common concern. Both organizations will set up a joint consultative committee to discuss matters of common interest, exchange views and information, and plan and coordinate common action. It is understood that nothing in the afore going shall in any way detract from the independence of either organization or of its affiliates.”