Conference on Jewish Social Studies
CONFERENCE ON JEWISH SOCIAL STUDIES
CONFERENCE ON JEWISH SOCIAL STUDIES , U.S. organization. The idea of the Conference originated in April 1933 with Morris Raphael *Cohen and S.W. *Baron. Its objective was to create an association of scholars to assemble reliable data about the "position of the Jew in the modern world," for the benefit of both Jewish and general scholarship, as well as the public at large. It was felt that such dependable research would help in the struggle against the rapidly spreading Nazi world propaganda with its fabricated evidence and other falsehoods. Beyond the immediate issue, however, loomed the widely felt need in the Jewish community itself to possess fuller and more precise information about the Jewish population, its economic stratification, and other socially and historically relevant aspects of Jewish life. After initial conversations the Conference (until 1955 called "The Conference on Jewish Relations") was launched at a meeting in 1936, presided over by Albert Einstein, addressed by M.R. Cohen, Harold Laski, and S.W. Baron, and concluded with an appeal for funds by Henry Morgenthau, Sr. From its inception, the Conference sponsored a number of research projects and publications, among them the quarterly Jewish Social Studies, published regularly from January 1939. An index to the first 25 volumes was published in 1967. There have also been several organizational offshoots of the Conference, including the Jewish Occupational Council, and particularly Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc., which was in charge of salvaging and redistributing throughout the world much of the Jewish cultural property (manuscripts, books, artistic and ritual objects) looted by the Nazis from communities and individuals in the occupied countries.
[Salo W. Baron]