An Experience in Serving Deviant Young Adults in a Jewish Community Center

By Cynthia Himmelfarb, Richard La Pan

Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA), National Conference of Jewish Communal Service, Summer 1962

Efforts to acculturate the "socially deviant young adult" are thought to be more effective in settings where these young adults interact regularly with "healthier peers."However, these peers frequently avoid such interactions. Therefore, a group was formed at Brooklyn's Hebrew Educational Society combining "socially inept" participants with "retardates." So long as the ratio remained 60:40 in favor of the "socially inept," significant progress was observed. As more "retardates" joined the group (reversing the ratio), the "socially inept" began to leave the group, reducing its overall effectiveness. This effectiveness was restored when a membership drive resulted in an increase of "socially inept" participants. The authors conclude that such integrated groups, when organized by an adult professional leader and selectively populated, can have a meaningful impact on all participants.

Topic: Youth, Social Work, Mental Health, Jewish Organizations, Study

Name of Publication: Journal of Jewish Communal Service

Editor: Sherman, Sanford N.

Volume/Issue: Vol. 38/No. 4

Page Number(s): 398-406

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Genre: Article

Coverage: New York, New York , United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Himmelfarb, Cynthia. La Pan, Richard. An Experience in Serving Deviant Young Adults in a Jewish Community Center. Journal of Jewish Communal Service. Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA),National Conference of Jewish Communal Service. Summer 1962: 398-406.


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