Goldsmith, Samuel Abraham

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GOLDSMITH, SAMUEL ABRAHAM (1893–1987), U.S. social worker. Goldsmith was born in New York. Following service as a field worker for the ymha and the Jewish Welfare Board in New York City, Goldsmith served for ten years as executive director of the Bureau of Jewish Social Research. In this capacity he conducted detailed surveys of Jewish social services in many American cities. Their findings and recommendations profoundly affected the direction of American Jewish social and communal work. In 1930 Goldsmith was appointed executive director of the Jewish Federation and Jewish Welfare Fund of Chicago, a position he held until his retirement. Shortly after accepting that position, he helped organize the Community Fund of Chicago, a forerunner of the United Way. He served as president of the National Conference on Jewish Social Welfare (1928–29). During the 1930s he was a charter member of the Joint Emergency Relief Fund and chairman of the Health Division of the Council of Social Agencies. In 1936 he helped establish and served as executive director of the Jewish Welfare Fund of Chicago, which raised funds for European Jews during the Holocaust. The jwf merged with other organizations, becoming in 1950 the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Goldsmith served as its executive vice president. An active leader and speaker within the American Jewish community, Goldsmith encouraged American Jewry to support the needs of Jews abroad and the development of a modern State of Israel.

[Kenneth D. Roseman /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]