Fall of ’59 in the Exponent: Fundraising Campaign Meets Goal But Editorial Strikes Cautious Note


One of the constants of Jewish Exponent coverage over the years centers on the struggle Jewish organizations face in raising money.

A front-page editorial in the Nov. 27, 1959 Exponent addresses that very issue.

While the editorial notes that the United Fund Torch Drive had appeared to reach its $13 million goal, the author’s tone is decidedly mixed.

“It is good first of all because it means that the 250 agencies and services supported by the campaign — including 18 local health and welfare constituents of Federation — will get the bare minimum they need to scrape along for another year,” the writer opines.

The author goes on to mention that the $13 million was the largest amount raised in a single campaign locally and that an apparent $1 million gap was made up in the last week.

But not all is sunshine and rainbows, as the author points out that much smaller cities like Cleveland and Detroit raised as much or more than Philadelphians.

“The unhappy fact is that thousands of business concerns and tens of thousands of citizens either do not hear the appeal or do not listen. They certainly do not respond. …. What all of us must resolve to work for the next year is overwhelming success that will put this city back on the map of communal generosity,” the editorial concludes.

The focus on fundraising manifests itself in other front-page articles, too.

The article on the top right reported on the naming of nine chairmen for a 1960 fundraising campaign;  the prominent chairmen include Walter H. Annenberg, listed then as editor and publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer, real estate broker Albert M. Greenfield and Samuel Cooke, the founder and president of Penn Fruit grocery stores.

Meantime, the article to the left of the editorial discussed the establishment of an extra fund for Israel.

Another article mentioned JEVS receiving a $41,350 grant from the U.S. Office of Rehabilitation for the expansion of a short-term work therapy program.

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Andy Gotlieb is the managing editor of the Jewish Exponent. He holds 31 years of experience in communications, mostly in journalism, with a decade in public relations, too. Prior newspaper stops include the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Tampa Tribune and the Philadelphia Business Journal. The first 17 years were spent in print journalism, where I covered, at various times, business, politics, crime and government, among other beats. The final 2.5 years in that stretch was an editor at the Philadelphia Business Journal, where my responsibilities included complete control over a weekly section and working with both staff writers and freelancers. In late 2005, I switched gears and began working in public relations for the next decade. I learned the ins and outs of public relations -- including being on the other side of the media-PR equation -- and made numerous contacts. I rejoined the ranks of journalism in March 2016, starting as the managing editor of the Jewish Exponent.


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