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New Tasks Confront Jewish Social Workers, Graduates of School Told

September 17, 1926
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The generosity of Felix M. Warburg and Julius Rosenwald in their contribution toward the maintenance of the training school for Jewish social work, which held its graduation exercises on Wednesday at the Hotel Astor, was praised by Louis E. Kirstein, president of the school, who presided at the exercises.

Mr. Warburg, in his address, declared that the day was coming when social workers would be recognized in the community ahead of lawyers or financiers.

Julius Rosenwald, first president of the school, who was scheduled to address the graduates, was unable to come from Chicago.

If the present policy of restricted immigration continues for ten or twenty years there will be no more poverty and destitution among the Jewish people in America, was the opinion of Dr. Lee K. Frankel, Vice President of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

“The next twenty-five years will see a new phase in Jewish philanthropy,” Dr. Frankel said. “If the present immigration policy is maintained–and I see no reason to believe that there will be any considerable change in the immediate future–we shall have to revise our entire conception of our needs. I predict that within the next ten or twenty years we will see no need for relief for destitution, with industrial conditions as they are at present, and with every able-bodied person able to earn a living at good wages.

“Formerly the work of Jewish philanthropy was largely directed toward immigrants. With the shutting off of immigration from Eastern Europe, the need for material relief by philanthropy will become less and less, until in the words of the prophet, ‘poverty will cease in the land’.”

Dr. Frankel told the graduates that educational and spiritual tasks were arising to confront the social worker. “Social service work does not necessarily mean contact with poverty,” he said. “You and I are going to see the bounds of human dependency and distress. For example, if we are to overcome the tremendous apathy, the indifference toward religion, if we are to redeem our young men and women, who knows but that the social worker with his training and equipment, will be called upon as a lay worker in the work being done by the synagogues and theological seminaries?”

The condition of Dr. Abram Gideon, author of a book on Kant’s philosophy and affiliated with the Simplified Spelling Board and other organizations, was reported as fair at the St. Joseph’s Hospital, Yonkers, N. Y. Dr. Gideon was taken to the hospital last Saturday, following his attempt to commit suicide by slashing his throat with a razor. He is not yet out of danger.

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