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Baerwald School of Social Work Opens in Israel with 70 Students

November 21, 1958
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Seventy students have started classes in the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work established earlier this month at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem under the auspices of the Joint Distribution Committee, the Hebrew University and the Israel Ministry of Social Welfare, the JDC office here reported today.

The college is under the direction of Dr. Eileen Blackey, a veteran American educator of social workers, who had been invited by the JDC to establish it and see it through its first three-year course. Dr. Blackey startled the audience at the dedication ceremony of the college by delivering part of her speech in fluent Hebrew, which she studied during a short stay in Israel. The dedicatory address was delivered by Professor Nathan E. Cohen, dean of the School of Applied Social Sciences, Western Reserve University, Cleveland.

Professor Benjamin Mazar, president of the Hebrew University, who chaired the dedication ceremony, stressed that the school will equip social workers with a “first rate academic and practical education.” Prime Minister David Ben Gurion greeted the opening of the new school with a statement declaring that its courses will be “essential in the task of absorbing the immigrants” arriving in Israel.

Moses A. Leavitt, executive vice-chairman of the JDC, said the opening of this school was “a cause for rejoicing and general satisfaction.” He stressed that it was fitting to name the college after Mr. Paul Baerwald, the man who had distinguished himself both as a prominent U.S. banker and a great humanitarian, and who now locks back on over 40 years of close and fruitful association with the JDC.

Mr. Baerwald was not present. But in his message from New York, read by Mr. Leavitt, the former chairman of the JDC recalled that a similar honor had been bestowed on him once before, when nine years ago the JDC opened its Paul Baerwald School for Social Work at Versailles, France (which was closed recently). “I must accept this honor as a new additional recognition of the work and standing throughout the world of the JDC, and also as a personal compliment to me, and in a way a compliment also to my direct predecessors in my past office as treasurer and as chairman of the JDC.–Felix M. Warburg, Herbert H. Lehman and Arthur Lehman–and in no small way to my successor in the post, Edward M. M. Warburg,” wrote Mr. Baerwald.

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