Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Wish Center Movement Raising $26,000,000 for Expansion of Facilities in 117 Cities

May 12, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The sum of $26,000,000 has been raised or is in process of being raised by Jewish community centers in 117 communities of the United States and Canada for new or improved buildings and facilities to meet a postwar demand for community-wide Jewish cultural and youth programs, reflecting an upsurge interest in the Jewish Community Center movement, it was reported tonight to the annual meeting here of the National Jewish Welfare Board.

Philip M. Klutznick, Chicago, chairman of JWB’s Jewish Center Division, who made the report, said that completion of these planned new structures, will raise the value of physical plants owned by the 301 Jewish centers affiliated with JWB to 66,000,000. Expenditures for Jewish center activities locally increased from 7,171,000 in 1945, to $8,050,000 in 1946, while membership in the centers reached 45,000 children, youth, young adults and adults, Mr. Klutznick declared. He also stated that 161 centers had a Sabbath or week-day religious school either as part of the Center’s program or housed in the Center.

Completion of the task of compiling the statistical record of the participation of Jewish servicemen in the American armed forces in World War II was reported by ?ilton Weill, New York, chairman of JWB’s Army and Navy Division. Mr. Weill announced the forthcoming publication of the two-volume “American Jews in World War II,” by the Dial Press. The books are based on material assembled over a five-year period by the Bureau of War Records of the Naitonal Jewish Welfare Board.


In his account of JWB’s continuing services to the armed forces at home and abroad during 1946, Mr. Weill pointed out that despite the accelerated pace of contraction necessitated by demobilization, JWB at the beginning of 1947 was serving at 50 Army and Navy installations through USO, at 125 Veterans Hospitals, 36 Army and Navy General Hospitals, at camps and bases in Hawaii, Panama, Alaska and the Philippines and maintained seven religious hospitality centers for troops in Europe and Japan. Dr. David de Sola Pool, New York, chairman of JWB’s Division of Religious Activities, told the convention that at the beginning of 1947 there were 49 full-time Jewish chaplains in the Army, Navy and Veterans Administration and 105 civilian’ rabbis on part-time.

Irving Edison, St. Louis, chairman of JWB’s Fund-Raising Division, announced that JWB had raised $1,274,387 in 1946 against a budget of $1,374,001. Of the total received, $724,687 came in allocations from federations, welfare funds and related agencies in 578 communities. The remainder was received from the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York, which includes JWB in its campaign.

Charles P. Taft, president of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, told a luncheon meeting of the JWB today, during a discussion of the role that the Jewish and Christian religions can play in the building of a free world, that the JWB was “representative in a distinctive way of all the genius and character of the Jewish community. I am honored to bring you the greetings of the great body of Protestant and Orthodox Christians in the United States and Canada, because we share many of the convictions that are basic for the future of the world,” he added.

The reports by the division chairmen followed an entire day of committee sessions devoted to a study of the findings and recommendations of the JWB Survey Commission which were made public at the opening session of the convention last night.

Recommended from JTA