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Jewish Communal Work is Growing in Nebraska, Notwithstanding Cesation of Immigration

February 21, 1928
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(News Letter from Omaha)

Since the enactment of recent immigration laws closely restricting the number of Jewish immigrants admitted to the country. Omaha has not seen the steady stream of Jewish newcomers. The community’s growth now is only the slow growth that comes to any thriving community. Numbers remaining almost the same, the communal life has grown by leaps and bounds.

Despite the decline of immigration the work of the Omaha Welfare Federation itself is greater than ever.

The reason for the growth in the work of the federation is the widening scope of welfare work which now often begins where the old welfare work left off and takes cognizance of the adjustement problems.

The future goals which have been set by the federation illustrate this development. Objectives for the year include child guidance clinic the finding of foster homes for homeless children who are now obliged to be placed in institutions and the organ service.

Some work in this direction has already been done. Though there has been no child guildance clinic in the city the Jewish Federation has been the leader in this city in the use of volunteer service by psychiatrists in behalf of all children whom the Federation has found to be “peculiar”.

The Omaha Jewish community has recognized the need for adult education, and, in the classrooms of the Jewish Community Center, many men and women are learning the fundamentals of citizenship and home-making classes are under the instruction of teachers from the Board of Education made available to the Jewish Community Center through the provisions of the Smith-Hughes education bill. Citizenship training is carried on under the auspieces of the local Council of Jewish Women of which Mrs. I. Rosenthal is president.

Jewish Education has grown greatly in the last year. In order to find out the real situation in regard to find our education in Omaha the Jewish Community Center made a survey last year of the numbers of Jewish children receiving any form of Jewish education. It was found that only 272 percent of the Jewish children were affiliated with any Jewish educational institution. Only about one child out of four was receiving Jewish education. There are over 1500 Jewish children in the public schools.

Following the publication of this report the Jewish Community Center established early in the winter, its own Sunday school intended for the instruction of children affiliated neither with the Talmud Torah nor the Temple Sunday school. The Community Center Sunday school now has enrollment of 200 children thus having increased the number of children who received Jewish of children who received Jewish education by 50 percent of its previous number.

Attendance at the Jewish Community Center for 1927 including all activities, totals 81,858. This includes clubs and classes gymnasium groups, Sunday school concerts and lectures.

The annual meeting of the Jewish Welfare Federation and the Jewish Community Center will be held jointly on Feb. 26. Indications are that the present staff of officers for both organizations will be reelected for the coming year. Officers of the Jewish Community Center are, Harry H. Lapidus president Henry Monsky vice president. Joseph Wolf. secretary and Dr. Philip Sher treasurer. Those who head the Welfare Federations are William Holzman president. Harry Silverman secretary Dr. Philip Sher chairman of executive committee Harry B Zimman, honorary vice president Harry A. Wolf first vice-president A. B. Alpirn second vice-president. Mrs. N. Mantel third vice-president. Miss Blanche Zimman fourth vice-president and Harry Friedman treasurer Samuel Gerson is the executive director of the Jewish Welfare Federation and the Jewish Community Center.

Wise Memorial Hospital is a Jewish institution supported almost entirely by Jews but giving service to the city as a whole. The statistical report issued February 1 shows that 101 Jewish patients were treated last year at a cost to the hospital of $482455. Sixty seven free non Jewish patients were cared for.

The annual report of the hospital reveals that 1927 has been the most successful year of its history which stretches over some 40 years. The building and equipment having been thoroughly overhauled a year ago the hospital is now in a position to give the best of service and is gaining an enviable position both with the medical profession and with the general public. Wise Memorial hospital is one of the fourteen our of 38 hospitals in Nebraska which are approved by the American College of Surgeons.

All officers of the hospital with the exception of the secretary who resigned have been reelected. They are Sam Wertheimer president. Isidore Ziegler vice-president and N. P. Feil treasurer. Four trustees were elected this year. Rabbi Frederick Cohn of Temple Israel. Ed Treffer Joe Wolf and I. Levy.

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