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Economic Readjustment in U.S. Imperils Jewish Educational Institutions, Says Levine

August 14, 1930
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

That the economic readjustment now taking place in the United States as the result of the prolonged economic depression, and the attendant evils of unemployment and financial stringency, is imperiling the existence of many Jewish social and educational institutions in New York City, was revealed yesterday in a statement issued by Judge S. Levine, of the Court of General Sessions and President of the United Yeshivah Chest of Greater New York, a federation of 10 Jewish day schools, which set out to raise a sum of $500,000 to relieve the financial burden of these 10 schools.

“It is increasingly clear”, Judge Levine stated, “that as a result of the depression, we are faced with the emergence of new economic conditions, and with the necessity of adopting new adjusted standards in our social and philanthropic activities. The depression, which embraces not only the United States, but many countries throughout the world, has made itself felt most strongly in those fields where crises are felt most acutely. It is generally admitted that many philanthropic and educational Jewish agencies in New York City must subject themselves to a thorough-going readjustment, often leading to a curtailment of activities.


“With the growth of the Jewish community in New York during the past three decades, mainly as a result of the Eastern European immigration, hundreds of communal, social, religious and philanthropic agencies have come into being, due to the social-mindeness and generous impulses of the mass of immigrants. Institutions were built by the score without ample and permanent provision for their maintenance, and upkeep. One outstanding lesson gained from the present depression must be that the fate of vital agencies, functioning for the welfare of the community, cannot be made dependent upon the high degree of prosperity, or generosity of a comparatively small number of donors. Agencies such as educational institutions, as exemplifedby the Yeshivahs, must be regarded as a community obligation which embraces the entire group whose ideals they expound and exemplify. Unless this is thoroughly and promptly understood by the Jewry of New York, many to the making of which the labor and self-sacrifice of an entire generation has gone, will have to disappear, to the detriment of the best interests of the community,” Judge Levine further stated.


The statement was made by Judge Levine in explanation of the city-wide outdoor campaign launched by the United Yeshivah Chest for the purpose of raising $500,000, mainly through small contributions, to meet the $500,000 deficit of the 10 Jewish schools.

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