London (Jul. 25)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mall Service)
The question of encouraging relief work for Jews in East European countries and creating for that purpose a special Foreign Appeals Committee, was discussed at the last session of the Board of Jewish Deputies here. Action on the matter however, was postponed until November.
At the session the Secretary reported that the Board of Deputies had referred to the Committee an appeal for relief received from the Jewish community of Salant in Lithuania, where much distress had been caused by a devastating fire. After a prolonged discussion the Committee resolved that the Board be informed that the question of relief in Europe is outside the province of the Joint Foreign Committee.
Mr. A. S. Diamond moved that a Foreign Appeals Committee be constituted with power to receive and consider all appeals for the relief of Jews in Foreign countries and to recommend to the Board such appeals as the Committee thinks fit to be entertained, and such action as it thinks proper to be taken by the Board in relation thereto.
Mr. Felix Rose, the Chairman of the Law and Parliamentary Committee, said that Mr. Diamond’s motion was out of order, because according to the constitution of the Board of Jewish Deputies committees could only be appointed during the first meeting of the Board.
Mr. d’Avigdor Goldsmid said that strictly speaking Mr. Diamond’s motion could be ruled out of order, but it was much too important to be ruled out of order. and as he understood that an amendment was likely to be put which would put it right. he would allow Mr. Diamond to proceed with the speech.
Mr. Diamond said that the argument advanced by a few influential members of the Board to the effect that relief activities were contrary to the constitution of the Board was not in accordance with the facts. Ever since 1840 the Board had continually engaged in relief activities on behalf of the Jews abroad. It was chiefly due to Moses Montefiore who was for forty years the President of the Board, that time and again large sums of money were raised by the Board for Jewish communities abroad. With the death of Moses Montefiore in 1885 the relief activities of the Board became not so frequent but they never entirely stopped. Should the fact of Moses Montefiore’s death be the cause for the Board’s zeal for suffering humanity to stop.
Mr. Morris Myer moved an amendment to Mr. Diamond’s motion to refer the matter to the Finance Committee to report to the Board by November the means for the formation of a permanent relief Committee and also to consider the relations of this newly formed Committee with the already existing relief bodies.
Mr. Leonard G. Montefiore in seconding this amendment said that the duties of such a Committee were not only to consider and to recommend appeals, but also to raise them. He thought that at present an appeal for charity abroad would be a fiasco, but there were times when the Jews of this country ought to show sympathy with the Jews abroad. The delay in the formation of this Committee could do no great harm, firstly because of the present-day conditions in this country, and secondly because he understood that Dr. B. Kahn had just arrived in Poland and had probably brought with him the first proofs of the American drive.