50 Years of Jewish Welfare Board
By BERNARD POSTAL
(Copyright, 1966, JTA, Inc.)
The National Jewish Welfare
Board is starting this month a year-
long celebration of its 50th anni-
versary. A picture of its half-cen-
tury service and the role it has
played since its establishment in
World War I, in serving Jewish
centers and the religious needs of
Jewish military personnel in the
U.S. armed services, is given here
in headline form.
1917: JWB organized in New York
City, April 9, to serve religious and
welfare needs of Jewish military per-
sonnel in World War I. Conference,
convened by National Council of
YMHAs and kindred societies names
Dr. Cyrus Adler, president; and Samuel
Goldsmith, secretary. U.S. Govern-
ment Commission on Training Camp
Activities names JWB as Jewish corn-
munity's 'instrument for serving mili-
tary. JWB begins recruiting rabbis as
chaplains and hundreds of field work-
ers. Commissioning of Jewish chaplains
authorized by Congress at JWB's be-
1918: JWIt opens servicemen's cen-
ters for Jewish soldiers at domestic
and overseas posts, making extensive
use of YM-YWHA buildings. JWB be-
comes part of united war work cam-
paign. Two hundred Jewish commu-
ities organized for war service. Na-
tional Association of Jewish Center
Workers founded with Aaron Robinson
as first president.
1919: Registration and identification
of Jewish war graves overseas under-
taken by JWB. Welfare needs of de-
molished servicemen handled by JWB.
1920: War Department asks JWB to
continue morale services for peacetime
1921: Merger with National Council
of YMHAs and kindred societies,
founded in 1913, makes JWB national
association , of Ys and Centers, and
Agency for serving Jews in military as
of July 1. Judge Irving Lehman elected
president. Community studies and
building fund campaigns undertaken
for new Centers. First training course
for Center workers established.
1922: JWB begins intensive program-
ming services to Centers; lecture bu-
reau organized and Jewish Center
Quarterly launched. Building bureau
established for Centers.
1923: Field service to Centers in-
1924: JWB servicemen's club opened
in Hawaii. Welfare and religious serv-
ices extended to Canal Zone. JWB
helps create Graduate School for Jew-
ish Social Work.
1925: President Coolidge joins JWB
leaders in laying cornerstone of Wash-
ington, D.C., Center. Veterans Admin-
istration recognizes JWB as agency to
present claims of Jewish veterans. Re-
ports 44 new Center buildings opened
since end of war, bringing total to 120.
1926: Religious and welfare services
extended to 'Citizens Military Training
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Camps. JWB cooperates with American
Battle Monuments Commission in mark-
ing Jewish war graves.
1927: Convenes first training institute
for Center workers.
1928: JWB joins A.A.U. and U.S.
Olympic Committee as representative
of Jewish community in amateur
sports. Reports Centers employ 125
full-time professional workers.
1929: Centers become rallying points
for protests against Arab riots in Pal-
estine. Stock market crash brings to
halt decade of new Center building
1930: National JWB conference maps
emergency economics in Center opera-
tions. JWB helps form national con-
ference on Jewish employment.
1931: Centers turn to JWB for guid-
ance in coping with depression prob-
1932: Day camp programming for
Centers launched by JWB. First na-
tional Center basketball tournament
and air mail track meet held. JWB
joins President Hoover's welfare and
relief mobilization. JWB organizes
American team for first Maccabiad in
1933: JWB helps launch mobilization
for Human Needs under NRA. Reli-
gious and welfare services extended to
Jewish youth in CCC camps.
1934: Department of Health Educa-
tion and Camping established; JWB
holds first camp counsellors training
course. Nationwide regional Jewish
youth rallies conducted by Centers and
JWB for leadership training.
1935: JWB and Centers organize
American team for Palestine Macca-
1936: JWB -leads fight to keep U.S.
out of Nazi-controlled Berlin Olympic
Games. Personnel department is or-
1937: Expanding Center movement
pays tribute to JWB on 20th anniver-
sary at annual convention.
1938: JWB spurs Centers to aid in
adjustment of refugees from Hitler-
ism. JWB helps organize National Jew-
ish Committee on Scouting.
1939: Adoption of Mobilization Day
plan prepares JWB for wartime role.
1940: War Department reaffirms
JWB role as official representative of
Jewish community in serving military.
Expanded committee on Army and
Navy religious activities begins recruit-
ing Jewish chaplains to meet mount-
ing needs of armed forces. JWB armed
services workers begin organizing local
communities. Jewish Community Cen-
ter program aids launched.
1941: JWB becomes founder mem-
ber of USO. Hundreds of Jewish com-
munities mobilize for war service
under JWB. banner. JWB given re-
sponsibility for compiling record of
Jewish military participation. Public
relations program undertaken to inter-
pret American Jewry's war role.
1942: Organization of Jewish Com-
munity Center division spurs service to
Center field. President Roosevelt lauds
JWB on 25th anniversary for service to
nation and communities. Women's or-
ganizations division created for war
service. JWB begins overseas opera-
tions for armed forces.
1943: JWB serves military on five
continents through chaplains, field
workers, USO and community groups.
JWB becomes constituent of Greater
New York United Jewish Appeal.
1944: Jewish chaplains at side of
GIs as European invasion begins. Over-
seas Army and Navy committees estab-
lished. JWB becomes sponsor of Jew-
ish Book Council of America. USO-
JWB programs for military help gen-
erate Jewish activities in small Jewish
1945: War's end finds JWB serving
in 588 communities and at 203 USO
-operations; 311 Jewish chaplains on
duty. JWB organizes national Music
Council and launches Jewish musical
festival. Independent survey of JWB
to guide postwar programming and
service gets underway, with Dr. Salo
W. Baron as head of survey commis-
sion, and Dr. Oscar L. Janowsky as
sioui:vs-.ey director. Jewish chaplains aid.
liberated concentration camp survi-
1946: President Truman pays tribute
to JWB's wartime services. JWB takes
initiative in creating World Federation
of YMHAs. Women's Organizations' di-
vision launches Serve-a-Hospital pro-
1947: "Janowsky Report" calls for
stressing Jewish goals and programs of
Centers; adoption of JWB survey rec-
ommendations ushers in new era for
Center movement. "Americans in
World War II," story of Jewish war-
time heroism, by Dr. - Samuel C. Kohs
and I. Kaufman, published by JWB.
JWB joins in creating Training Bureau
for Jewish Communal Service. Adopts
agreement on mutual objectives of
9130 JOS. CAMPAU
Center work and Jewish education.
Jewish Music Council sponsors inter-
national competition for new composi-
1,948: Statement of principles on
Jewish Community Center purposes
adopted. Beginning of postwar Center
t4111111111111111111111111111i11111111 111 11111 1 1111 1 1111 1111111111 111111 11 111111 11 1111 11 11111 1 111111111111 111 111111 11 111 1 111 11 11111 11111 11011111. - : building boom calls for expanded JWB
services. JWB becomes sponsor of
American Jewish Historical Society.
Kraft goes to Israel during Arab seige
Passover Greetings to the Community
to set up Jerusalem YMHA. JWB takes
place in reconstituted USO as new
Selective Service Act becomes law.
National Jewish Youth Conference
founded under JWB. auspices.
1949: Center and synagogue relation-
ships explored by JWB and Synagogue
Council of America. First Jewish His-
tory Week is observed. Sixty-nine
communities engaged in new Center
building program get JWB aid. JWB
joins Veterans Administration Volun-
tary Service program.
1950: Korean war finds JWB ready
as Truman proclaims national emer-
gency. Rabbis vote self-imposed draft
to recruit military chaplains. JWB
helps form associated services for
armed forces as USO deactivates. Jeru-
salem YM-YWHA opened as first Cen-
ter in Israel.
1951: USO called back into service,
with JWB representing Jewish corn-
rnunity. Center programs for aged ex-
pand under JWB impetus.
1952: Jewish chaplains serve heroic-
ally in Korea. Spirit of JWB survey
recommendations held carried out five
years after adoption. First JWB Year
Book is issued. New GI Haggadah pub-
lished by Chaplaincy Commission.
1953: JWB sponsors observance of
Jewish Community Center Centennial.
Nationwide drive to recruit Center
workers launched by JWB.
1954: JWB program resources used
in American Jewish Tercentenary cele-
bration. President Eisenhower urges
JWB to maintain morale services to
military. Commission created on Cen-
1955: Religious school curriculum for
GI's children published by Chaplaincy
Commission. First JCC in Paris head-
ed by JWB-trained worker.
1956: Eighteen community studies
on new Center needs completed, ini-
tiated or planned; a similar number
having been made each year since end
of World War II. President Eisenhower
hails JWB role in building good citi-
1957: Personnel at newly-opened
missile bases get JWB morale services.
JWB expands scholarship program for
qualified young people seeking careers
in Center work. National Jewish Writ-
ers Conference sponsored by Jewish
Book Council. Public affairs activity
in Centers spurred by JWB National
Institute on Citizenship Participation.
1958: Sabbath programming policy
for Centers is adopted. Jewish cha-
plains on scene as Middle East crisis
erupts. First public affairs resolutions
approved by JWB. Holds family pro-
gramming institute for Centers.
1959: Jewish values in Center pro-
gramming appraised at JWB confer-
ence. Chaplaincy Commission prepares
Jewish section in Tri-Faith Hymnal.
First national training institute held
for Center women leaders. Broadened
scope of Center day camping recorded
at JWB consultation.
1960: Centers assume role in JWB
financing with adoption of fair share
plan at JWB Biennial. JWB joins
Council of Cultural Agencies. JWB
takes active role in White House Con-
ference on Children and Youth.
1961: Launches broad reappraisal of
JWB structure and services. Findings
of JWB study on teenagers is published.
Chaplaincy conducts leadership train-
ing projects at military bases. New
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
40—Friday, April 1, 1966
Best Wishes to Our Many
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Wishing All My Friends
A Happy Passover
HENRY and CHARLES KIMBEL
military build-up spurs call for more
Jewish chaplains and JWB service.
National Public Affairs Committee
established. JWB participates in White
House Conference on Aging. JWB Year
Book reports that 83 new Centers
erected since the end of the war cost
1962: Major JWB structural and
service changes begin as reappraisal
report is adopted. Centennial of Jew-
ish Military Chaplaincy is marked.
Cuban crisis brings swift JWB mobili-
zation. National conference on Center
programming in the arts is convened.
1963: JWB research center estab-
lished in cooperation with NAJCW. Air
Force Academy chapel, equipped
through JWB efforts, is dedicated.
JWB enunciates supportive position on
Civil Rights, and urges Centers to fol-
low suit. Consolidation of regional
Center and armed service work begins.
JWB joins in observance of 20th anni-
versary of Warsaw Ghetto revolt.
1964: Soviet anti-Semitism protest-
ed by JWB. Crash program for recruit-
ing Center workers gets underway.
Findings of JWB Young Adult Study
made public. JWB Canal Zone Center
aids refugees from Panama riots.
Foundation grants back JWB recruit-
ing and scholarship pro-grams. Jewish
chaplain and JWB supplies reach South
Vietnam. President Johnson says JWB
and Centers enrich American life.
Ground broken • for Jerusalem YM-
1965: Five-year research project set
up by JWB and Brandeis University.
JWB, Hillel and CJFWF join forces in
Conference on Jewish Young Adults.
Launch two-way exchange program
between U.S. and Israeli social work-
ers as 23 American JCC workers attend
training seminar in Israel, and Israeli
workers are placed in American Cen-
ters. Jewish chaplain aids wounded as
crisis erupts in Dominican Republic.
JWB leaders participate in meetings
with European Center leaders.
more Jewish chaplains reach South
Viet Nam as JWB takes steps to meet
increased needs of military personnel
resulting from growing Viet Nam
crisis. First national teenage training
institute convened by JWB.
1966: Year-long celebration of JWB's
50th anniversary begins.
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