Conference of Jewish Federations’ Leaders Hears Reports on Needs for Coming Year
Menu JTA Search

Conference of Jewish Federations’ Leaders Hears Reports on Needs for Coming Year

Download PDF for this date

American Jewry will have to meet the needs of Jews in Europe and Israel to no less an extent in 1949 than this year, delegates to the 14th annual conference of the West Central Region of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds were told here. Two hundred and fifty representatives from eight states participated in the conference, which concluded yesterday.

Harold J. Goldenberg, national vice-president of the C.J.F.W.F., read a report by Harold Glasses, director of the Council’s Institute on Overseas Studies who is now in Israel, emphasizing that with Israel fighting a war while it continues to build a nation and absorb great numbers of immigrants, financial needs there will continue to be very great in the coming year.

“Everybody in Israel wants large immigration of Jews as quickly as possible,” the report said. “The survival of Israel depends upon the rapidity with which immigrants can be brought into the country. In three and one-half months 35,000 immigrants entered. During September the rate will be higher. The labor shortage enables able-bodied immigrants to find jobs within a matter of days after disembarking. Present immigration, however, does contain a number of welfare cases: unaccompanied children, aged, sick and invalids.”

Predicting large-scale industrial development in Israel, Glasser stressed, in his report, that “the vocational training of immigrants remains an important aspect of the work to be done by American philanthropy,” He added that industrial development of Israel will be dependent upon the investment of capital, skill, and experience by American industrialists. “The people of Israel,” he said, “look forward to investment, not to philanthropy, as the source of the needed capital. The industrialization of Israel will be a great boon to the neighboring countries.”


Philip Bernstein, associate director of the C.J.F.W.F., presented the Overseas Institute report on the European phase of American Jewish philanthropy. The peak of European expenditures has been reached, he asserted, and should decline in 1949. He added that there had been a decline of 100,000 DP’s from the number reported in Europe a year ago, and that the camps should be substantially emptied during the next year.

He called attention to the inadequacies of the International Refugee Organization in failing to provide the food, transportation, and vocational training for which it is responsible, which has resulted in large supplementation by Jewish agencies which should not be necessary.

Irving G. Rhodes of Milwaukee was unanimously elected regional president, succeeding I.S. Joseph of Minneapolis. Other regional officers elected were: Albert H. Heller, Jr. of St. Paul, first vice-president; Barry I. Jacobs, Kansas City, second vice-president; Harold Goldman, Des Motaes, third vice-president. Elected to represent the region in national United Jewish Appeal deliberations were I.E. Goldstein of St. Louis, A.B. Polinsky of Duluth, and Jene Glass of the Southern Illinois Federation.

The delegates passed resolutions affecting the major phases of American Jewish community activity. Declaring that the I.R.O. carried the primary responsibility of solving the DP and emigration problem, the region called upon the C.J.F.W.F. to formulate plans in cooperation with appropriate national and local agencies to bring about the fulfillment of this task. Another resolution reaffirmed the executive committee action calling for “speedy implementation of the J.D.C.-H.I.A.S. overseas merger.” A third endorsed the work of the Council’s Institute on Overseas Studies.

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