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January 28, 1983 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-01-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


8oris Smolar's

`Between You
. . . and Me'

Emeritus, JTA

(Copyright 1983, JTA, Inc.)

THE COMMUNAL WORKER: Jewish social work-
ers are considered today "the Jewish civil service" of the
American Jewish community. They serve in all fields of
communal endeavor. Their central body, the Conference of
Jewish Conimunal Service, has more than 1,200 members
attending annual meetings.
No census has ever been taken on the professional
Jewish civil servants. But one estimate puts their present
number, exclusive of rabbis, at 12,000 men and women.
They are an immense force in American Jewish communal
life, and yet a great majority of them lack Jewish education
and have no Jewish knowledge. This point was emphasized
by Ralph I. Goldman, president of the International Con-
ference of Jewish Communal Service, who is the executive
vice president of the JDC.
In an address delivered at the annual meeting of the
Conference of Jewish Communal Service, in Minneapolis,
he stressed that while real advances have been made in the
professional ability of the social workers who serve the
American Jewish community — and in whom the welfare of
the Jewish community is entrusted — many of them have
no Jewish knowledge. "A Jewish professional," he said,
"can rightfully claim expertise only if his professional ta-
lents and commitments are grounded in Jewish knowl-
Dr. John Slawson, now executive vice president emeritus of
the American Jewish Committee — in those years secre-
tary of the Jewish Welfare Federation of Detroit — one of
the most prominent professional leaders in Jewish social
work who served as president of the National Conference of
Jewish Communal Service, read a paper at the NCJCS
annual meeting which remains a classic even today. He
was highly critical of the fact that a very great number of
professionals in all fields of Jewish social service lack
Jewish education and are ignorant on matters of Jewish
He was very outspoken on this subject. He emphasized
that it may be necessary for the entire Jewish social work
profession "to go to school" to become more Jewishly edu-
cated, more Jewishly committed, \ and to understand the
importance of Jewish ethnic identity. ,
Dr. Slawson, who has been strongly advocating the
strengthening of Jewish identity ever since he entered the
field of social work, told the assembled' Jewish communal
workers that the Jewish federations are no longer federa-
tions for philanthropy but federations of ethnic Jewish
expression. He defined the goal of Jewish social work as an
organized expression of Jewish community life and not as a
transitory corrective mechanism.
Published in the Journal of Jewish Communal Serv-
ices as- part of the proceedings of the 1928 meeting, the
address was reprinted. The reprints are still being studied
by students seeking to enter the field-ofJewish social work.
However, most of those who attended the 1928 conclave
hardly grasped the ideas which Dr. Slawson expressed.
They were just professionals; they were not Jewishly com-
The CJF PROGRAM: The Council of Jewish Federa-
tions has been, from its earliest years, sensitive to the need
for high quality of professionals with a good Jewish back-
ground. It established a Federation Executive Recruitment
and Education Program to recruit and educate young men
and women for future professional leadership in executive
and sub-executive positions. The program involved profes-
sional knowledge and skills in university graduate schools,
Jewish studies, and field training in the Federations and in
their agencies.
In 1977, the CJF intensified this effort by embarking
on a'large-scale continuing education program for current
staff members of Federations and their agencies. Profes-
sionals from 31 communities participated last summer in
the CJF Continuing Professional Education Program. CJF
president Martin E. Citrin of Detroit considers this pro-
gram as "a milestone in the development of Jewish life."

Soviet Missiles in Syria
Are Threat to Israel: Blum

(JTA) — Israel charged
Monday that Syria's new
Soviet missiles pose a seri=
ous threat to Israel's secu-
In a letter to the UN Se-
curity Council, Yehuda
Blum, Israel's Ambassador,
said that the newly intro-,

duced long-range Soviet
missiles are capable of
penetrating deep into Is-
rael's airspace and other
neighboring countries. Is-
rael, for its part, cannot be
expected to ignore the seri-
ous threat to its security
inherent in these recent Sy-
rian activities."


Friday, January 28; 1983 11

Mexican Jewry Reported OK


aganda during and after the
war in Lebanon and the pos-
sibility that Jews would be
scapegoated for the coun-
try's severe economic crisis.

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fact finding mission of 21
American Jewish commu-
nity leaders has returned
from Mexico reassured
about the situation of Mexi-
can Jewry.
The mission spent five
days in Mexico investigat-
ing two concerns of the
Jewish community there
a - barrage of anti-Zionist
and , anti-Semitic prop-

Illegal Building
Drops. in Galilee

While illegal Arab building
in the Galilee has declined
by about 95 percent ,in re-
cent years, Jews are leaving
the area at an annual rate of
7,000( Only natural in-
crease and immigration
keep the absolute number of
Jews in the region from
plummeting, Afula Mayor
Ovadia Eli stated during
last week's Knesset debate
on Galilee development.
The Interior Ministry at-
tributed the sharp drop in
illegal construction to close
supervision as well as the
allocation of further land for
building inside existing
Arab- villages. A ministry
spokesman said that 52 of
76 Arab villages in the
north have housing plans to
meet the needs of the local
population for the next '20



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