Over $400,000 were raised for the establishment of an American branch of the Judea Insurance Company at a meeting of the national advisory committee of the company at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Sunday evening.
“Five hundred thousand dollars worth of shares of capital stock have been sold prior to this meeting,” Judge Jacob Strahl, president of the company stated. “Two hundred thousand dollars have been cabled to the Palestine office, $25,000 of which was used for the establishment of the Tel Aviv Exhibition and Fair. The value of the Exhibition is estimated today at $100,000. Up to April 30, insurance amounting to $1,100,000 was written in Palestine,” the president reported.
The history of the New York Life Insurance Company shows that during its first year the company only wrote $750,000 worth of insurance, a record which is not surpassed by any other American insurance company, Judge Strahl declared.
“Almost forty per cent of the total business of our company comes from Egypt where our company maintains offices in Alexandria and Cairo. Offices in Palestine are located in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem. There are no restrictions in Palestine concerning investment of our reserves and we are therefore in a position to transmit all funds for Palestine investment. The Judea now has $100,000 in first mortgages averaging $3,000 each. Seventy thousand dollars of our reserve funds are invested in municipal bonds of Tel Aviv.
“Our aim is now to start activities in the United States. Application for license for an American branch of the Judea will be made upon the return of our auditor, Theodor Racoosin, who will complete arrangements in Palestine for this step,” Judge Strahl declared.
Col. F. H. Stoddard, former commissioner of the insurance department of the state of New York, declared that while no branch of a foreign insurance company is now operating in the United States, a way could be found to enable the Judea to start activities here. “The Judea Life Insurance Company can in many ways be helpful to Palestine. Insurance companies are always concerned about the conditions under which their policy holders live and are therefore engaged in improving health standards,” he declared, pointing to the work in this direction by the American insurance companies.
“There is no better way of combining an altruistic effort with a financial enterprise than through the medium of insurance companies,” he concluded.
“The mortality in Palestine is much lower than in other countries,” Mr. Theodore Racoosin declared. He quoted Dr. I. M. Rubinow according to whom the mortality in Palestine is 50 to 60 per cent of that in the United States and other countries with temperate climates. He also quoted Dr. Lee K. Frankel, according to whom tuberculosis which is a large mortality factor, hardly exists in Palestine.
Dr. L. Fraudberg was chairman of the meeting, which was followed by a dinner in honor of Vladimir Jabotinsky. Mr. Jabotinsky pointed to the great benefit which would accrue to Palestine if Jewish institutions, congregations, Y. M. H. A’s and Centers would make it a rule to purchase a few pieces of furnishings and equipment in Palestine without regard to price. “There are so many new communal buildings being erected in the United States. If every one would make it a habit of purchasing a few chairs or an altar, doors, etc., in Palestine, the diaspora could give employment to thousands and thousands of workmen instead of making them recipients of charity,” Mr. Jabotinsky declared. For similar reasons he expressed himself in favor of the work of the Judea Insurance Company because by providing funds for mortgages it enables increased building activity and the employment of Jewish workmen.
Among the larger contributors at the meeting were: H. Kur, Hymen Goldman, A. L. Schiller, Leopold Freudberg, jointly $40,800; David Podolsky, Max Fenwick, Theodore R. Racoosin, $37,500 each; Joseph Bines, Harry Schultz, Samuel Lonschein, Jacob S. Strahl, $18,750 each; Dr. S. Rosen, Simon Fuchsman, $11,250 each; Samuel Markewich, Dr. Charles Pollack, Abraham L. Holtz, Moses Lictwin. Saul Friedland, $9,375 each; Joseph Schwartzberg, $5,625; Louis Germain, A. C. Fisher, Dr. H. Diamond. Samuel A. Marshak, Benjamin Moss, Moses Bernstein, Louis Horowitz, Louis Hochberg. Simon Lippman, Solomon Blumowitz. Harry Nieberg. Jacob Sandsberg. D. Bookhalter, Harry Wertzheiser, Michael Salit, Louis Diamond. Leopold Kehlmann, Samuel Weinstein. Elias K. Ellenbogen. S. Koback. Louis Hammer, K. Ish-Kishor, William Shiff, $3,750 each; Henry Milner, I. C. Rednor, $3,750 jointly.