300 Community Leaders Discuss Jewish Cultural Needs in United States
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300 Community Leaders Discuss Jewish Cultural Needs in United States

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Problems concerning the basic directions in American Jewish community life and the community’s responsibility for the cultural development of Jews in the United States were discussed here at a two-day joint conference of the East Central Region of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, the American Association for Jewish Education, and the Midwest section of the National Jewish Welfare Board. The sessions were attended by more than 300 leaders from 35 communities.

A discussion at the conference revealed that among the large communities consideration was being given to possibilities for developing forms of Jewish educational programs for the large numbers who are not attending existing schools, as well as for strengthening current programs and integrating formal and informal educational activities that Jewish community centers and Jewish schools are conducting for children, youths and adults.

Louis Roseth, Jewish youth leader and delegate to the National Youth Institute, said that “young Jews in the United States must find in themselves the inspiration and leadership to give strength to their own Jewish cultural heritage in order to replace the Jewish cultural foundations which were blasted by a war which took so many lives of our people,” Dr. Salo W. Baron stressed American Jews’ historic duty to build a new compound of Judaism and American culture. His address served as a background for the discussion on Jewish education led by Fred M. Butzel of Detroit, Charles Auerbach of Cleveland, and Josiah E. Brill of Minneapolis, on behalf of the Council, the American Association for Jewish Education and the Jewish Welfare Board, respectively.

The Council sessions also discussed community cooperation in solving common problems. H.L. Lurie, executive director, pointed to the growth of the Council during the last 13 years from 50 to 300 communities as evidence of the desires of communities to work together towards common goals. He pointed out that the trend today is to develop greater regional and national teamwork among the communities.


A strong desire for a closer partnership between the Jewish communities and the United Jewish Appeal was reported by Isidore Sobeloff, executive director of the Detroit Jewish Welfare Fund, who said that negotiations were under way between a committee involving the large welfare fund communities and United Jewish Appeal officials for direct representation of the welfare funds on the governing body of the U.J.A.

Arnold Gurin, director of the Council’s budget research department, said that an analysis of current local budget practices pointed toward a growing demand by communities for more analytical financial and service information on national and overseas agencies. The growing trend toward the establishment of a single central community organization for joint budgeting, financing and community planning was revealed in an analysis presented by Philip Bernstein, the Council’s field director.

Delegates of the Council’s last Central States Region elected Bernard Pepinsky of Cincinnati, regional president; Stanley Kann of Pittsburgh and Abe Srere of Detroit, vice-presidents; Eugene Goodman of Cleveland, treasurer; and William Avrunin, secretary and regional director.

Joseph S, Lerner. of Kansas City, was elected president of the Midwest section of the National Jewish Welfare Board; Josiah Brill of Minneapolis, Charles Lakoff of Detroit and Allan Altheimer of Chicago were elected vice-presidents; and Isidore Bierfeld of Kansas City was elected secretary. The American Association for Jewish Education announced that Isidor Schifrin of Cincinnati was elected chairman of a committee to select a board of governors for its East Central region.

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