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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

JEWISH CHILDREN'S BUREAU

JEWISH CHILDREN'S BUREAU

The JEWISH CHILDREN'S BUREAU was formally established in 1941 but traces its origins to the Infant Orphan Mothers' Society. In 1898 a group of women formed this society to create a home for orphaned infants too young to enter the Jewish Orphan Home. A year later, with $800, the Jewish Infant Orphan Home was organized; in 1901 a facility near Woodland on E. 37th St. was dedicated. The home became one of the Federation of Jewish Charities' initial beneficiaries in 1904. Two years later, the society purchased a converted residence at 2200 40th Ave. The home cared for an average of 60 infants at any given time during the 1910s, at an annual cost of $11,000. It still received assistance from the Infant Orphan Mothers' Society (which had over 900 members in 1906). The home closed in Jan. 1922, merging with the Welfare Assn. for Jewish Children, a division of the federation established 2 years earlier to place orphans in foster homes.

In 1941 the merger of the Welfare Assn. for Jewish Children and BELLEFAIRE (formerly the Jewish Orphan Home) created the Jewish Children's Bureau. The bureau handled all planning for the care of Jewish children requiring assistance outside of the home. In 1945 it assumed responsibility for the daycare functions of the JEWISH DAY NURSERY, which became an auxiliary agency of the bureau. The same year, the bureau took over the ORTHODOX JEWISH CHILDREN'S HOME's casework. In 1948 the Jewish Big Brothers Assn. and Big Sisters Organization activities transferred from the JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE ASSN. to the bureau, the Big Sisters program becoming a joint effort with the NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JEWISH WOMEN. In 1995 programs of the Jewish Children's Bureau for children, youth, and families included not only the JDN Child Care Center and the Jewish Big Brothers/Big Sisters Assn. but also adoption services, family day care, specialized foster care, independent living, emergency shelter, and respite care. In 1995 the center was located at 22001 Fairmount Blvd. in SHAKER HTS. and Samuel Kelman was executive director.


See also BIG BROTHER/BIG SISTER MOVEMENT; JEWS AND JUDAISM; ORPHANAGES.