Another conference equal in size and importance to that of the now historic Philadelphia conference of 1925 was convoked by David A. Brown, national chairman of the United Jewish Campaign, and Felix M. Warburg, chairman of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, it was learned.
A joint conference of the United Jewish Campaign and the Joint Distribution Committee will be held on October 9th and 10th. The city in which the conference will be held has not yet been announced.
The purpose of the conference, it was stated, will be to discuss questions which have arisen out of the many hundreds of local drives already conducted and still to be held in the forthcoming year in connection with the $25,000,000 United Jewish Campaign. Leaders of the United Jewish Campaign committees in all communities in the United States and Canada are expected to attend.
Up to now 1,500 local campaigns have been conducted throughout the United States and Canada for the United Jewish Campaign, in which nearly $16,000,000 have been raised. Another five hundred drives are expected to be held this fall.
It is expected that a minimum of $8,000,000 will be added toward the ultimate total of $25,000,000 through the drives which are yet to be held in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburg, St. Louis, Buffalo, Washington, Toronto, Omaha and scores of other cities. In addition, a large number of communities whose original quotas were assigned on the basis of a $15,000,000 drive, are planning “repeat” drives for 1927 and 1928. These communities are expected to raise another $2,000,000.
The conference will hear first hand reports of the work accomplished by the Joint Distribution Committee in Russia and in other countries from Dr. Joseph A. Rosen, head of the Agrojoint, who is coming to the United States to attend this conference, Dr. Bernard Kahn, European director of the Joint Distribution Committee, and a number of other leading social workers and laymen who have, within the year, travelled in European countries and investigated social conditions there. Among them will be James N. Rosenberg, Jacob Billikopf, Dr. Maurice Hexter, Dr. Henry Moskowitz, William Rosenwald, Mrs. Alexander Kohut, Stanley Folz of Philadelphia, Dr. Ludwig S. Bernstein of Pittsburgh, Dr. Jacob W. Newman of New Orleans, Miss Irma May and others.
In issuing the call for the conference. Mr. Brown reiterated his belief that the end of 1926 would find the full quota of $25,000,000 subscribed to the United Jewish Campaign.
“Our confidence,” he said, “is based upon the fact that during the last year we have secured the largest sum of money ever raised by the Jews of this country for any purpose, and with the exception of one or two war-time philanthropies in which the whole American population participated, the largest sum of money ever raised in America in one nation-wide campaign for a humanitarian cause. It has been estimated, on a basis, of a Jewish population of 3,500,000 that the per capita contribution to this campaign has averaged $7.15. In addition, many non-Jews, moved to sympathy by the dire distress of suffering Jewry overseas, have already assisted, and others have volunteered to organize and direct a fund-raising appeal to the general public to aid the United Jewish Campaign.
“Another source of confidence to the leaders of this movement are the admirable reports that come to us of the manner in which the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is expending overseas the monies raised in this country. A few weeks ago we had a cabled report that the famine committee for Bessarabia had voluntarily disbanded, the emergency needs of the Jews of that country having been promptly and effectively met. In many countries the loan kassas established by the Joint Distribution Committee have enabled tradesmen to reestablish businesses which have been ruined by excessive taxation, and have helped widows to become self-sustaining. In the cities of Poland where thousands of Jews are in utter destitution, the Joint Distribution Committee’s relief measures have already earned the gratitude of thousands, by means of medical aid, child-care work, and the emergency provision of food and clothing.
“The farm colonization movement in Russia, which at present is an outstanding feature of our reconstruction program, is the beacon of hope toward which these destitute men and women aspire. The glowing reports which have been coming to us this summer from numerous eye-witnesses indicate that the settlement of Jews on the farm lands of Southern Russia is one of greatest constructive achievements in modern philanthropy. The Joint Distribution Committee has already assisted 7,000 families to establish themselves on fertile farm lands of the Ukraine and the Crimea where their success as farmers has been phenomenal.
“Men and women, notable figures in American philanthropy, who have travelled abroad to see at first hand, the achievement of the miracle of turning ghetto tradesmen into successful tillers of the soil, will report the results of their investigations at the forthcoming conference. In their statements, American Jewry will, I believe, find inspiration for larger efforts than even those which it has previously set forth on behalf of the United Jewish Campaign. There can be no doubt of the ultimate over-subscription of this campaign, for the unstinting zeal and loyalty of those who have pledged themselves to aid the United Jewish Campaign cannot fail to gain even greater strength from the knowledge of what has been and can be done to alleviate human suffering.”