Jewish Social Service Agency (Louisville, Ky.)
= Audio Available Online
Erlen was born in 1906 in Columbus, Ohio. He came to Louisville as Executive Director of the Jewish Social Services Agency in 1938. He recalls Jewish geographical and congregational divisions; Young Men's Hebrew Association; Secretary of YMHA, War year; then temporary Executive Director 1942-1944. He remembers desegregation of schools, parks, and neighborhoods. He recalls discrimination against Jews; the Civil Liberties Union; Civil Rights; Arthur Kling. He discusses resettlement of victims concentration camps; 1990s Russian resettlement; Polish resettlement in 1964; the family unit; nursing homes; Louisville Hebrew Home 1949; Jewish Family and Vocational Service and Dave Dobson; memories of early Jewish civil workers and volunteers.
The executive secretary of the Jewish Social Service Agency of Louisville discusses his work with that organization and its predecessors since coming to Louisville in 1938. Recollections also include the origins of Erlen's interest in Jewish social work, his education at the Ohio State University and the New York Graduate School of Social Work, work with the Jewish Community Federation of Louisville and its predecessor organizations, the resettlement of Jewish immigrants to Louisville, and recollections of such individuals as E.S. Tachau, Charles Morris, Stuart Handmaker, Marshall Bensinger, and Lewis Cole. Erlen also discusses changes in residential patterns within Louisville's Jewish community and the growth of professionalism within local Jewish social service organizations.