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Leaders from 40 Cities Review Programs Aimed at Combating Urban Crisis

June 19, 1968
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The active involvement of Jewish federations and other groups in efforts to deal with America’s urban crisis was urged at a meeting of 95 Jewish communal leaders from 40 cities after an all-day session on the problem here convened by the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. Citizen volunteer leaders and professional executives in the communal agencies reviewed programs that are proving most effective in their communities, Louis J. Fox, CJFWF president said.

Mr. Fox described the needed solutions for “massive problems” for “the entire community” and added that “they can be overcome only by all forces in the community joining to take massive action.” Stress was placed at the meeting on the need for legislation and particularly for adequate Congressional appropriations to assure jobs for the unemployed, with the required vocational training. Also urged were massive housing programs, particularly for those Americans least able to pay, quality education for slum area children, changes in welfare laws to remove “punitive” measures enacted by the last session of Congress and to replace them with programs to end the situation of the Government itself keeping people in poverty.

The community leaders evaluated a wide range of activities currently under way under Jewish sponsorship. Hundreds of jobs have been provided under auspices of the Cleveland Jewish Community Federation. The Jewish Vocational Service in Newark helped establish Project COPE, a Federally financed recruitment and training program for Newark ghetto residents, and the JVS of St. Louis has been conducting similar training and placement for ghetto residents of that city.

The Detroit Jewish Welfare Federation is providing four-year college scholarships for 25 inner-city youth who, because they are not at the top of their high school classes, would fail to qualify for scholarship aid and would be deprived of college education opportunities. Pittsburgh’s Jewish Federation has made available a building it renovated to a Negro community corporation for a vocational training school. San Francisco’s Mount Zion Hospital is training jobless and under-employed persons as nurses’ aides and orderlies and several Jewish hospitals are providing medical services to Negro areas. The American Jewish Congress in New York and other cities is providing, in cooperation with the Urban League, business advice to slum area residents to help them run business enterprises.

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