Jewish Communities in U.S. Report Increase in Welfare Services
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Jewish Communities in U.S. Report Increase in Welfare Services

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Continuing the post-war effort to meet urgent local needs, Jewish communities throughout the U.S. and Canada registered gains in providing care for the aged, sick, children and families during 1951, according to the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. Four major developments were noted:

1. Facilities and community-wide services for Jewish aged were expanded.

2. Jewish hospitals treated thousands of additional patients. Planning and building of new facilities continued.

3. Financial assistance provided by family service agencies to immigrants declined as the number of new arrivals dropped. At the same time, there was a marked rise in attention to family guidance and counseling.

4. The number of children receiving care in institutions and in foster homes continued to diminish, as improved methods of care made possible earlier discharge.

During 1951, Jewish homes for the aged provided a greater volume of service, made strides in the development of integrated programs of care for both institutional residents and elderly persons living in the community, the report states. In that period, 54 homes cared for 6,879 residents, a gain of 775 over 1950. At the same time, they also concentrated on providing medical and nursing care for the substantial portion of home residents who are chronically ill patients.


Underscoring the importance of this phase of service, the report declares, plans for new or expanded buildings which would increase facilities for the aged and chronically ill were completed or underway during 1951 in 18 cities. Moreover, in a number of communities homes for Jewish aged met special state medical and nursing requirements to care for ill residents.

Two facts highlighted the C. J. F. W. F. analysis of local health and hospital programs. The first calls attention to the figure of 405,000 patients–Jewish and non-Jewish–who received treatment from 52 Jewish hospitals. This total represents a gain of 24,000 over the 1950 figure. The largest portion of this increase was registered by hospitals for the chronically ill.

The second important health feature noted by the report is that communities made significant progress in expanding their hospital plants and equipment. As a result they were partially able to meet a huge backlog of medical service. Underscoring this point, the report reveals that at least 18 communities are planning or actually building additional hospital facilities. When the Jewish hospital in Detroit is completed, every community with a Jewish population of 30,000 and over will have a general hospital operating under Jewish auspices.

Communities are also making determined efforts to coordinate their network of institutional and non-institutional services to provide the widest possible aid to our older citizens, the report points out. Thus, many cities are examining methods of furnishing increased recreational facilities for elderly people–both inside of homes for aged and elsewhere.

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