Zentralwohlfahrtstelle der Deutschen Juden
ZENTRALWOHLFAHRTSTELLE DER DEUTSCHEN JUDEN
ZENTRALWOHLFAHRTSTELLE DER DEUTSCHEN JUDEN (Central Welfare Organization of German Jews), founded in 1917 and composed of representatives of welfare bodies, communities, the larger German-Jewish organizations, and professional social workers. It gradually attained a leading position in Jewish welfare work and was recognized and supported by the German government, the *American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and the major German welfare bodies. In its first years the Zentralwohlfahrtstelle dealt with the havoc wrought by World War i and the ensuing inflation. It gradually extended its activities to new fields: tubercular cases, nervous and mental diseases, and juvenile delinquency. It initiated, advised, and helped organize regional and territorial organizations. In 1932, 212 institutions (including homes for the aged, asylums, hospitals, and schools) were under its supervision. One of its main duties was the care of Jews from Eastern Europe. It published a number of high-caliber periodicals on social, welfare, and communal work. The Nazi seizure of power in 1933 created a new situation in which the organization's activities consisted of emigration and retraining for occupations open to Jews, the awakening of Jewish consciousness, education, and Zionism. These challenges were met by the establishment of the Reichsvertretung, within which the Zentralwohlfahrtstelle continued to play an important role in the distribution of welfare funds, medical care, and aid. In 1951 the Zentralwohlfahrtstelle was reorganized with its seat in Frankfurt, and after 1990 became increasingly involved with Russian immigrants.
G. Lotan, in: ylbi, 4 (1959), 185–207. add. bibliography: B. Scheller, Die Zentralwohlfahrtstellen (1987); G. Heuberger, Zedaka (1992).