On December 29, 1926, Federation’s Executive Director Solomon Lowenstein received a letter from I.M. Rubinow, the Executive Director of he Jewish Welfare Society of Philadelphia. Rubinow’s name caught my eye, as the first Director of the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem from 1919 to 1922. In his role at the Jewish Welfare Society, he wrote to Lowenstein, “I am writing this letter after considerable deliberation because it deals with an unpleasant subject, but I have come to the conclusion that it is my professional duty because the interests of Jewish social service are involved.”
The issue that so upset Rubinow concerned a young man who Rubinow had known as a youngster from “an excellent Jewish family”. More recently, however, Rubinow explained, “I have … heard so many unfortunate things about him that I have come to the conclusion that he has no right to assume any Jewish social work.”
Rubinow proceeded, “I am informed that he divorced his first wife, deserted his second wife with a child and without any means of support about three years ago … I am further informed that this desertion was accompanied by the forging of checks of some commercial firm with which he was connected …” He continues,
During Harry’s short stay in Philadelphia at the Jewish Welfare Society he became engaged to another young woman, a graduate of the Jewish Foster Home who “now is heart-broken … there are other similar stories of his experiences in New York”. Apparently Harry had since then taken a job at a Federation agency in New York, and Rubinow felt it his duty to alert Lowenstein to the matter. “The reason I am writing to you is because I know how diplomatically you can handle any situation. I don’t have any intention of interfering with Mr. Fenton’s private life or his opportunity of making a living but I am sure you will agree with me that Jewish social service and particularly a child-caring institution, is not the proper field. Perhaps a suggestion to him to resign at once would be all that is necessary.”
Further conversation shows that by December 31, the Executive Director of the agency in question had received Harry’s resignation.