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Eliezer Jaffe, Father Of Israeli Social Work, Dies At 83

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Eliezer Jaffe, considered a father of social work in Israel, has died at the age of 83.

Jaffe, who died on Thursday, was a founder of Israel’s first academic school of social work, the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

A professor of social work specializing in philanthropy and non-profit management, he was the first Centraid-L. Jacques Menard Professor for the Study of Nonprofit Organizations, Volunteering and Philanthropy at Hebrew University and co-Chairman of the university’s Center for the Study of Philanthropy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was a professor emeritus at Hebrew University at the time of his death.

Jaffe immigrated to Israel from Cleveland, Ohio in 1960, three years after he spent time in Israel volunteering in the immigrant transit camps known as the maabarot.  When he arrived in Israel he had degrees in sociology, psychology and criminology, as well as a doctorate in social work, from Yeshiva University in New York, Ohio State University and Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

He headed the Jerusalem Municipal Department of Family and Community Services, introducing major administrative, conceptual and program reforms, that continue to be observed throughout the country today.

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