October 11, 2012

Effect of World War II on Federation and its agencies

The budget files of FJP’s social service agencies from the late 1940s are being processed. From the contents of the budget files up to this point, it is evident that World War II had an impact on Federation as well as the agencies that it funded. The war had an impact in all areas of funding, especially the child care agencies and medical care agencies.  Agencies were more cautious in their spending during those hard times.  In general following the war, budgetary requirements from agencies increased considerably and agencies began to ask for more funds from Federation. Furthermore the war had an effect on the United Jewish Appeal that had just been formed in 1938. Below are several documents culled from the Budget Files that demonstrate the impact of World War II.

In the minutes of the 1943-44 budget hearing of the Jewish Board of Guardians (JBG) depicted below, it was stated that the impact of the war created additional difficulties for the society and that there was a spike in juvenile delinquency. In addition, JBG promised in future memoranda to indicate projects that should be ceased following the war.

Jewish Board of Guardians Minutes,  1943-44

page 2 of Minutes

The following 1948 letter from Ira Younker to I. Edwin Goldwasser (FJP Executive Director, 1917-1920, Chairman of Distribution Committee, and Vice President in 1948) mentions that should there be an economic downturn that Federation would be in a position to supply money for economic relief as well as sustenance.

Correspondence from Ira Younker to I. Edwin Goldwasser, April 13, 1948

Correspondence from Ira Younker to I. Edwin Goldwasser, April 13, 1948

Finally, this memorandum from Jerome Saltz (FJP Budget Director, 1941-1971) to the Distribution Committee indicates the budget as well as budgetary recommendations for Community Centers and Fresh Air Work agencies separate from the Special Allowances for Wartime costs.

Memorandum from Jerome Saltz to the Distribution Committee, May 21, 1948

Memorandum from Jerome Saltz to the Distribution Committee, May 21, 1948

page 2

page 2 of Memorandum


1 Comment »

  1. In the 1948 letter from Younker to Goldwasser, regarding “Federation being in a position to provide the Jewish people with funds for the food and shelter required to sustain life” should there be another depression, it’s important to note that Younker then says: “You and I know that the depression of the early ‘30’s demonstrated for all time that private philanthropy cannot perform this function, and the nation has accepted the view that this is the function of government”. A real balance is needed between private philanthropy and basic services for all citizens.


    Comment by susanwoodland — October 16, 2012 @ 10:01 am

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