Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

United Membership Drive by All Ym-ywha Groups in Nation is Adopted

April 26, 1933
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The 262 Young Men’s Hebrew Associations, Young Women’s Hebrew Associations and Jewish Community Centers in the United States will conduct a joint membership enrollment effort on a national scale, in accordance with a recommendation adopted unanimously at the closing sessions of the Emergency Conference of executives of Jewish recreational organizations, held for the past three days at the Young Men’s Hebrew Association, 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue, New York, and convened by the National Jewish Welfare Board. Ten days will be set aside for this national enrollment campaign at the beginning of the fall season in order not to interfere with the inaugural of the full program of activities scheduled for the year.

The conference discussed and acted upon reports of its committees submitted by the chairmen, Allan Bloom, executive secretary of the Jewish Community Center Association of Indianapolis, Ind., Dr. Aaron G. Robison, executive director of the YM-YWHA of Newark, N. J., Samuel Shair, head of the YMHA of Scranton, Pa., Tobias Roth, executive director of the JYM and WA, Rochester, N. Y., and Harry Lebau, executive director of the YM and YWHA of Elizabeth, N. J.


Other measures adopted which are designed to meet the difficult conditions resulting from the current economic depression are “the expansion of the Jewish Centers’ physical and health educational program of health standards, and to provide for the growing needs for health conservation in every community, the reduction of the basic membership rates in Jewish Centers to as reasonable a figure as possible in accordance with the net cost of operation and the capacity of the members to pay, the extension of the plan for family membership, whereby a substantial reduction in fees is allowed to individual members of a family if the head of it affiliates with the Center; the offering of free membership to unemployed for services rendered in the Center of a kind calculated to conserve their self-respect, and provided no regular employee is thereby displaced.”

Abraham W. Rosenthal, executive secretary of the YM-YWHA of the Bronx, Mrs. Esther Jameson, director of women’s activities of the YM and YWHA of Newark, N. J., and Jack Nadel, executive director of the YMHA of Manhattan, presided at the morning and afternoon sessions.


The conference closed with an address by Harry L. Glucksman, executive director of the National Jewish Welfare Board, which included a summary of the discussions and a formulation of future policies. Mr. Glucksman said, “The outstanding need in Jewish Centers today is for mass affiliation, a continuous widening of its influence and its support. The Jewish Community Center was democratically conceived and must be democratically managed. Hence, the leadership of the future must be drawn not from one class, that is, principally from large contributors, but must be representative of the intellectual and spiritual forces in Jewish life. No movement offers the volunteer such a large scope for expressing his talents and interests as does the Jewish Community Center movement. And I may add that no enterprise in Jewish communal life is in as great a need of the services and loyalty of the volunteer as is our movement.”

The committees of the conference included:

Committee on Types of Membership Systems: Allan Bloom, Indianapolis, Ind., Chairman; Mrs. Esther Jameson, Newark, N. J.; Louis Smith, Wilkes Barre, Pa.; Rabbi Alter F. Landesman, Brooklyn, N. Y.; Jack Nadel, New York City; Celia Bloom, Rochester, N. Y.; Moses Beckelman, New York City; and Louis Kraft, New York City, Secretary.

Committee on Membership Age Groups, Rates and Privileges: Tobias Roth, Rochester, N. Y., Chairman; Louis Morgenstern, New York City; Aubrey Mallach, Lynn, Mass.; Samuel Josolowitz, Springfield, Mass.; Harry Friedgut, Newark, N. J.; Mrs. Ray F. Schwartz, New York City; Miss Mary Keyserling, New York City; and Dr. Charles S. Bernheimer, New York, Secretary.

Committee on Special Problems of Gymnasium Membership: Samuel Shair, Scranton, Pa., Chairman; Art Scher, Pittsburgh, Pa.; George Feldman, Allentown, Pa.; A. W. Rosenthal, Bronx, N. Y.; Harry Herbert, Lawrence, Mass.; Graenum Berger, Staten Island, N. Y.; Mr. Lindenbaum, St. Louis, Mo.; and Samuel Leff, New York City, Secretary.

Committee on Membership Campaigns: Harry Lebau, Elizabeth, N. J., Chairman; Harry S. Albert, Paterson, N. J.; Max Feder, New Rochelle, N. Y.; Samuel S. Solender, Washington Heights, N. Y.; M. H. Chaseman, Albany, N. Y.; Rabbi Alexander Basel, Bronx, N. Y.; Dr. Philip R. Goldstein, New York City, Secretary.

Membership Follow-up and Promotion: Rabbi Aaron G. Robison, Newark, N. J., Chairman; Charles Nemser, Jersey City, N. J.; William Cohen, Brooklyn, N. Y.; William Pinsker, Brockton, Mass.; Harold Beker, Philadelphia, Pa.; Mrs. Fannie D. Budson, Trenton, N. J.; and Benjamin Rabinowitz. New York City, Secretary.

Recommended from JTA