Federation Marks 25th Year, Re-elects Judge May President
Menu JTA Search

Federation Marks 25th Year, Re-elects Judge May President

Download PDF for this date

Supreme Court Justice Mitchell May, president of the Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities since 1932, was unanimously reelected yesterday for a fourth term at the annual meeting of the Federation at Union Temple, 7 Eastern Parkway. The meeting marked the completion of twenty-five years of service to the Brooklyn Jewish community.

Mrs. Nathan L. Goldstein was elected president of the women’s division of the Federation which, simultaneously, held its fifth annual meeting. Other officers and directors for 1935 were chosen both for the Federation and for the women’s group from slates presented for each of the organizations by Oscar A. Lewis and Mrs. Allan D. Emil.


Messages of congratulations from President Roosevelt, Governor Herbert H. Lehman, Bishop Thomas E. Molloy, Professor Albert Einstein, Federal Relief Administrator Harry L. Hopkins and leaders in private, religious and public philanthropies poured into the Brooklyn Federation.

Justice May received a telegram from the President saying:



In his annual report, Justice May asked for continued support of the Federation’s activities and stressed the necessity for “increased giving” after pointing out that the Federation ended the year 1934 with a deficit of approximately $17,000.

Former Supreme Court Justice Joseph M. Proskauer, president of the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York City, and Marcus C. Hankinson, president of the Brooklyn Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, were the chief speakers on the program.

A musical program featuring Elizabeth Harmon, contralto; Leonidas Coroni, baritone, and Orsola Tucciarelli, coloratura soprano, was given under the supervision of Max Abelman, chairman of the annual meeting committee.


“A group of pioneers, under the leadership and inspiration of Nathan S. Jonas, founded the Federation late in 1909 and launched its program of activities in 1910,” Justice May said. “Our Federation at that time was one of the very few community chests in the country. The idea had not yet taken hold, and Brooklyn was one of the very first to join the small group who had the vision to experiment with that form of community organization.

“During the twenty-five years of our existence, tremendous changes have taken place in the make-up and composition of our Jewish community. The Jewish population of Brooklyn has grown from 400,000 in 1910 to over a million today. Whereas, twenty-five years ago Manhattan, with a Jewish population of 601,000, led all the other boroughs in this respect, today Brooklyn has a Jewish population greater than that of Manhattan and The Bronx combined.


“Some of the changes that took place in the growth and development of our Jewish social service agencies in this branch borough are best reflected in a few comparative figures which I give you, In 1910 the United Jewish Aid Societies, our family welfare agency, had 414 families under care and received an allotment of $12,250 from Federation. In 1930 the agency was serving over 6,000, of whom 2,600 were major cases, and Federation’s allotment had increased to $245,000. In 1910 the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Ayslum numbered 494 wards and received an allotment of $18,000. By 1930 the agency was taking care of 1,033 children, and its allotment from Federation was $91,125….

“Ladies and gentlemen: That deficit with which we ended the year 1934 is not very large. But it would have been greater—much greater—had we done with Federation what we should have liked to do, had we carried out our tasks as the period in which we live and the place in which we function, and the awful need which we found all around us dictated that we should. Yes, I say we should have spent more, much more. And had we done so, our deficit would have been greater…

“Brooklyn can do its share. Brooklyn will do its share. It may be necessary for many of us to increase our own efforts. But I am confident that the will is not lacking, the enthusiasm is here, the necessary fervor is plentifully present….

“With your continued help, with your continued enthusiasm, with your strength behind it, neither the Federation nor the community need fear the future. The obstacles will be overcome. The problems will be solved.”

In his greeting to the Federation, Governor Lehman praised the organization for its twenty-five years of work, saying: “It has rendered splendid service throughout these years, not only to the 1,000,000 Jews living in Brooklyn, but because of the non-sectarian character of much of its work to the community as a whole. It is entitled to the fullest measure of public support. It would be a calamity if anything were permitted to restrict or lessen its activities.”

Other greetings arrived from Dr. Cyrus Adler, James G. Blaine, Bernard S. Deutsch, Darwin R. James, Commissioner William Hodson and Borough President Raymond V. Ingersoll.

The complete slate of officers and directors for 1935 elected yesterday follows:

Federation officers: president, Mitchell May; vice-presidents, Harry M. Marks, Walter N. Rothschild, Mrs. William Linder, Murray Hearn; treasurer, Joseph M. May; assistant treasurers, Benjamin C. Ribman, Murry C. Becker; secretary, Ralph K. Jacobs; assistant secretaries, Max Abelman, Abner J. Siris.

Federation directors for three years: Clarence G. Bachrach, Bernhard Bloch, Alexander Block, Max Herzfeld, Ralph Jonas, Dr. Samuel C. Kohs, Jacob Levy, Oscar A. Lewis, Mrs. Nathan L. Goldstein, Max Kiss, David L. Malbin, Mitchell May, Algernon I. Nova, Harry M. Peyser, Samuel Salzman, Albert D. Schanzer, William L. Schwartz, Hugh Grant Straus.


Federation directors for two years: Mrs. Clarence G. Bachrach, Mortimer Brenner, Jacob H. Cohen, Alexander H. Geismar, David B. Jacobs, Arthur Joseph, Samuel Kappel, Charles I. Mandel, Manasseh Miller, Grover M. Moscowitz, Isaac Parshelsky, Elias Reiss, Samuel Shapiro, Sam Spatt, Sol Sussman, Carl F. Troy, Morris Weinberg.

Federation directors for one year: Michael G. Appel, Joseph J. Baker, David Berdon, Emanuel Celler, Harry Eckstein, Morris W. Haft, Charles Jaffa, Nathan S. Jonas, Edward Lazansky, Aaron Wm. Levy, Harry E. Lewis, Walter A. Miller, Nathan D. Shapiro, Abner J. Siris, Fred J. Zeitz, Harry Zeitz.

The Christian Hebraist Heinrich Gesenius occasionally used the Hebrew commentaries of Ibn Ezra and Rasi for his translation of and commentary on Isaiah.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund