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Metropolitan League Urges Greater Recreation Facilities for N. Y. Jewish Youth

November 2, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The First Annual Convention of the Metropolitan League of Jewish Community Associations was held Sunday at the 92nd Street Y. M. H. A., New York City. Delegates from twenty-one Y. M. H. A.’s and Y. W. H. A.’s, and other Jewish educational and recreational organizations in and around New York City were present.

Sol M. Strook, president of the League, in presenting his report explained the functions of the League to be the creation of an effective, central body, representing all the Jewish youth serving organizations; and to awaken New York Jewry to the value of the work done by the Y. M. H. A.’s, and to the inadequate facilities they now have. Mr. Stroock stated that a survey had been made of New York by the Jewish Welfare Board, which showed that there were 660,000 Jewish young people in the city, of whom only 115.000 were affiliated with any Jewish association. Over 500,000 Jewish boys and girls are in need of proper places, like Y. M. H. A.’s and Y. W. H. A.’s, to spend their leisure time, to conserve their Jewish interests, and to improve their Jewish education, he said.

Mr. Stroock also pointed out to the fact that 10,000 Jewish boys and girls were members of the Y. M. C. A.’s and Y. W. C. A.’s of New York, and that these organizations had found it necessary to establish a membership policy of restricting the number of Jews to be admitted, in some cases to only 5% of the total membership.

“Supervised recreation, such as the Y. M. H. A.’s, Y. W. H. A.’s, and similar Jewish associations offer,” he stated, “has again and again been reported as an antidote to juvenile delinquency. These associations have justified their existence and the funds invested in them, if for no other reason than their fine record that not a single member of any of these organizations has ever been reported charged with any crime.”

Mr. Stroock appealed for prompt action in erecting additional Y. M. H. A.’s and Y. W. H. A.’s in New York City, to provide for the 500,000 Jewish young people who have no place to go. “Other communities throughout the United States, with only half the Jewish population of New York, have raised in recent years over $9,760,000 for new Y. M. H. A. and Jewish Center buildings. New York, the largest and the richest Jewish community, should take the lead and provide adequately for its greatest asset, its Jewish youth,” he said.

Reports were presented by the field secretary of the Jewish Welfare Board for the Metropolitan District, Samuel Leff. Dr. Louis A. Harris, Health Commissioner of the City of New York, who extended the greetings for the city on behalf of Mayor James J. Walker, supported a recommendation that a summer camp be established. The afternoon session was devoted to an educational conference, with papers presented by Dr. Mordecai Soltes of the Jewish Welfare Board, Jack Nadel of the 92nd Street Y. M. H. A., A. P. Schoolman of the Central Jewish Institute, and Dr. Jacob A. Goldberg of the Committee for Health Service Among Jews.

The Convention re-elected the following officers: Sol M. Stroock, President; Abraham Shiman, Mrs. Jerome J. Hanauer, M. Maldwin Fertig, and Harry M. Marks, Vice-Presidents; Hugo H. Piesen, Treasurer, and Milton Weill, Secretary.

The twenty-one associations affiliated with the Metropolitan League are: Y. M. H. A. of New York (92nd Street), Y. W. H. A. of New York (110th Street), Bronx Y. M. H. A., Washington Heights Y. M. H. A., Institutional Synagogue, Jacob H. Schiff Center, Stuyvesant Neighborhood House, Federation Settlement, Brooklyn Y. M. H. A., Borough Park Y. M. H. A., Williamsburg Y. M. H. A., Mt. Vernon Y. M. H. A., Mt. Vernon Y. W. H. A., New Rochelle Y. M. H. A., Yonkers Y. W. H. A., Yonkers Y. M. H. A., Bensonhurst Jewish Community House, Educational Alliance, Hebrew Educational Society. Brownsville Y. M. & Y. W. H. A., and Harlem Hebrew Institute.

The Jewish Agricultural Society has announced the award of fifteen scholarships to sons and daughters of Jewish farmers in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Ohio. The scholarships will enable the winners to attend the courses given at the agricultural colleges of their respective States this winter.

The Jewish Agricultural Society has granted these scholarships annually for the last seventeen years.

Pleas for the religious instruction of Jewish children were made by speakers Sunday at three meetings in New York and Brooklyn under the auspices of the Jewish Education Association. The meetings were held to award scholarships, medals and books to children who had shown excellence in attendance and studies at religious schools.

The meetings were the climax of a “stay in school” campaign conducted during the last year by the Jewish Education Association on behalf of 300 religious schools in New York.

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