“This Thing of Giving” (Plymouth Press) by Henry Rosenfelt, who was National Director of “The American Jewish Relief Committee” for eight years, is a dramatic record of the means by which 63 millions for relief were collected in America. The narrative of this feat, unparralleled in the annals of charity, is told with a wealth of detail which gives honor alike to the many, obscure, devoted workers and the few great leaders and givers. The inside story of episodes which have become history, such as Julius Rosewald’s sensational donation of one million dollars, is revealed. The book is strewn with anecdotes and incidents which transform the bare chronicle of events into a gripping tale. The Drive for Jewish Relief, in which all American Jewry participated, emerges as one of the heroic chapters in Jewish history.
Besides giving a detailed picture of the poignant self-sacrifice of the poor and the magnificent generosity of the rich, the book is a genuine contribution to the science of philanthopy, the technique of fund-raising with least waste and most profit. Sixty-three millions were not raised by sentiment alone. Mr. Rosenfelt gives an admirable, practical demonstration of how vast sums were required and how vast sums were raised. This story of effective, organized charity is a fascinating one.