(Jewish Daily Bulletin)
More than 20,000 members are enrolled in Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Associations throughout New England. Seventeen Associations own buildings, two new centers having been opened during the past year. These facts were made known in the annual reports submitted by Raphael P. Boruchoff, president of the Associated Y. M. and Y. W. H. A.’s of New England, and Executive Secretary Benjamin Rabinovitz, field secretary of the Jewish Welfare Board, to the sixteenth annual convention held here. Five hundred delegates attended the convention.
Albert Hurwitz of Boston was elected president by acclamation to succeed Mr. Boruchoff. Mr. Hurwitz served as president of the Association from 1915 to 1919. He is chairman of the Keren Hayesod of New England and was formerly Assistant Attorney General of Massachusetts.
A discussion of the problems confronting the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association was led by Dr. Philip R. Goldstein, campaign director of the Jewish Welfare Board.
Dr. Goldstein outlined what he termed the several major pre-requisite for a successful Y. M. H. A. which must have for its basic purpose community service: the provision of adequate facilities commensurate with the needs of the association and the dignity of the Jewish community; the enlistment of professional direction by men and women who possess a thorough training and are imbued with a devotion and idealism which fit them for the task and responsibility; and the development of a comprehensive program for activities that will contribute to the all-around development of vigorous manhood and womanhood, loyal and consciencious Jews, true and tried citizenship.
Round table discussions were held on publicity, led by Isaac E. Bloch of Holyoke; Junior Work, led by Herman Galakin of Providence; Women’s Activities, by Celia Duhan of New Haven; membership, by I. R. Broder of New Haven; and Inter-Association Athletics, led by J. J. Hamburg of Chelsea. A conference of district leaders and executive secretaries was presided over by Mr. Rabinowitz, field secretary of the Jewish Welfare Board.
The annual convention banquet was held Sunday evening with over five hundred in attendance. Dr. Mordecai Soltes, director of the Extension Education of the Jewish Welfare Board was the principal speaker. Other addresses were delivered by Mr. Hurwitz and former president Jacob L. Wiseman and Mr. Boruchoff who stated that there has been a striking increase in the distinctly Jewish activities in the programs of our associations.
In his address Dr. Soltes stated: “Among the outstanding characteristics of the genuinely Jewish community center, which render it an indispensable institution in American Jewish life, are:
“First, it embraces in its program all the possible types of activities, which are calculated to satisfy the diversified interests and needs of the normal individual, social, recreational, intellectual, physical and spiritual.
“Second, the Jewish community center attempts to reach and opens its doors widely to all elements in the Jewish population from the point of view of age, sex. degree of Americanization and Jewish outlook. No person is kept out. No questions are asked as to one’s opinions, beliefs or ideals. No distinctions are made between Orthodox and Reformed, Conservative and Radical. A hearty welcome is extended to all. A conscious effort is made to impregnate the members of the community with the feeling that the Center is a Beth Am, a genuine House of People, to get all members of the family to look upon the Center as their second home, their spiritual abode.
“Third, in the genuine Jewish community center both phases of the activities, the American and the Jewish, are stressed with equal force and vigor. No attempt is made to transplant upon this soil a foreign, ghetto environment. No methods are employed which are not modern, suitable for the American Jewish youth. No opportunity is permitted to pass for taking proper and adequate recognition of American festivals and outstanding events of a general civic nature, in common with all Americans. In a word, the Jewish community center is permeated with a spirit of genuine Americanism,” he declared.
Other officers elected were: Vice-Presidents, Elihu A. Hershernson, Pea-body: Jessie Kalter, Framingham; Gertrude Tarnapol, Providence; George E. Gordon. Chelsea. Secretary, Arthur Kornstein, Woonsocket; Treasurer, Morris Wyzan, Milford; Executive Board, Raphael P. Boruchoff. Malden; Lewis Goldberg. Boston; Eli Cohen, Lynn; Julius Stone. East Boston; Harry Berman. Holyoke; Hyman Jacobs, New Haven; A. Silverman, Manchester; Louis Baker, Salem; Harry Mann, Chelsea: Louis C. Henin, Springfield; Isaac Kilbrik, Brockton; Judge Solomon Elsner, Hartford; Catherine Gesmer, Quincy; Bessie Simms, West End; Mrs. Esther Gross, Hartford; Mrs. Carl Nindlin, Haver-hill; Ida Goffin, Portland; Rose Rubin, Peabody; Jacob L. Wiseman, Boston; James H. Caplan, West End.
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