Jewish Communal Organizations Urged to Join Together for Fund-raising
Menu JTA Search

Jewish Communal Organizations Urged to Join Together for Fund-raising

Download PDF for this date

A resolution urging Jewish communal organizations in the United States and Canada to join together and work together to raise funds needed for overseas Jewish needs as well as for local and national needs was adopted here at the closing session of a two-day conference held jointly by the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds and the National Jewish Welfare Board. Participating in the conference were more than 150 community leaders from New York State and parts of Canada.

The Jewish leaders called on all communities to select their campaign leadership now and “organize now to meet the needs in 1957.” The resolution also urged the communities to recruit and train campaign workers in “the deeper meaning” of the campaigns as well as solicitation techniques. Other resolutions included a call for expanded services for the aged; more closely knit synagogue-center-federation relationships; and a call for greater mobilization of leadership forces in the community.

Mr. Charles Aaron, president of the National Jewish Welfare Board, stressed that every institution in the Jewish community must join in a central planning process to meet total community needs. “Each institution has the responsibility to serve the entire community,” he said. “It cannot remain an island unto itself. Only a strong Jewish community can provide adequately for its own local needs; can provide for the national institutions which help make it strong; and will be able to fulfill its obligations in Europe and Israel.”

“This means that we must accept some basic premises,” he added, “that a centra planning and financing body is essential to a healthy and vigorous Jewish community; that the Jewish community centers must help the federations fulfill their function as the overall planning body to strengthen existing services, establish new services and extend cooperation among agencies; and that leaders must assume a full measure of responsibility in the fund-raising efforts of the federations and welfare funds. In turn, federations must give living expression to the appreciation of the center as the community-sponsored instrument for providing constructive leisure time programs for the Jewish community.”


Mr. Philip Bernstein, executive director of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, reported that the trend throughout the country was towards greater cooperation among agencies, greater centralization of the planning and fund-raising processes, and greater coordination of programs and services. “The growing integration of programs and community resources means more and better service at a lower cost to the community,” he said. “From this everyone–the agencies and the entire community–will benefit.”

Mr. Samuel Gershovitz, executive vice-president of the JWB, declared that “cooperative planning depends upon a sensitive balance between the authority of a central body and the autonomy of the functional agencies.” “There are three elements that must be employed in achieving the ultimate in cooperative relationships. They are persuasion, mutual confidence, and patient persistence. These elements, in the democratic traditions of Jewish life, will achieve the highest communal goals.”

Dr. Marsall Sklare, who directed the Riverton Study, which probed the attitudes of a typical eastern Jewish community, said: “The Riverton Study showed that Jewish community and religious organizations are vital factors in preserving the Jewish group a strengthening its ties of survival with the past.” He also observed that Jews wish to continue as part of a Jewish community while taking part in the total activities of the general community. The study was conducted by Dr. Sklare on behalf of the American Jewish Committee.

In a resolution on the aged, the conference urged the communities to survey their facilities and develop integrated, coordinated programs to provide more adequately for the aged. The conference adopted another resolution, calling on the boards of local federations, community centers and synagogues to work together in meeting community problems in a “planned and cooperative way.” The resolution declared that this would “be most helpful in moving in the direction of achieving the cohesive Jewish community towards which we all strive.”

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