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Sesqui Exhibit Shows Jewish Contribution to American Life

September 15, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

More than half of the 3,600,000 Jews of America are affiliated with one of 108 national Jewish organizations. This and other facts and figures of interest are revealed in the Jewish Exhibit at the Sesquicentennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The Ehibit is located in the Palace of Education, close to the main entrance, and contains photographs, panels of statistical posters, and valuable books, manuscripts, religious and art objects. The exhibit was arranged by the Synagogue Council of America, an agency which includes representatives of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the United Synagogue of America, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, and the Rabbinical Council of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations.

The exhibit stresses the fact that the Old Testament contributed the ideal upon which the American democracy was founded, and emphasizes the fact that a Jew constructed the maps the Columbus used on his voyage of discovery, another contributed the fund: required for the expedition, and five Jews accompanied him on the voyage. It also relates that 27 Jews settled in New York City in 1654, within a few years after the landing of the Pilgrim fathers in Massachusetts. In 1656, Jacob Lumbrozo, a Jewish physician, was made a citizen of Maryland. The first Jewish cemetery in the United States was located in 1656 at Oliver Street and New Bowery, New York, and the first synagogue established in 1653 on Beaver Street, between Broadway and Broad Street.

The 108 national Jewish organizations in this country have a membership of 1,903,500 persons. Of these, 16 are religious organizations with a membership of 325,000; 15 educational, membership 30,000; 17 charitable, membership 381, 500; 17 lodges, membership 440,000; 28 fraternities, membership 21,500; 4 foreign relief, membership 500,000; 12 for Palestinian work, membership 105,000; 5 economic, membership 100,000; 3 for Jewish welfare, membership 550, the exhibit shows.

The United States today is the world center of Jewish learning, according to facts presented in the exhibit. This country has the greatest number of printed books on Jewish subjects of all countries of the world, and is second in the number of manuscripts.

The exhibit calls attention to the fact that there are 105 Jewish periodicals in this country with a combined circulation of 1,500,000. The oft-repeated statement that Jews always care for their own is emphasized in the announcement that in this country the Jews maintain 97 orphanages and child caring organizations, spending $3,500,000 annually; 13,000 local relief organizations with 59 local charity Federations, spending $15,500,000 annually, 55 Homes for the Aged, spending $1,000,000 annually; 62 hospitals, spending $20,000,000 annually. Of these the Cincinnati Jewish Hospital, established in 1845, is the oldest, and Mt. Sinai, established in New York in 1857 is the largest. In addition, between 1914 and 1924, American Jews spent for overseas relief and reconstruction carried on through the J. D. C., $63,000,000. The United Jewish Campaign to raise $25,000,000 for this purpose is now in progress. Jewish fraternal orders in America have 1803 lodges with 362,844 members. Of these, the Independent Oder B’nai B’rith is the oldest. This order has 500 lodges and 85,000 members.

The work of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and its affiliated bodies the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods. National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, Hebrew Union College, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis are also featured. The Union, organized in 1873, has an affiliation of 278 congregations, and maintains the Hebrew Union College.

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