An urgent call for the payment of pledges to the United Jewish Campaign was sent out to campaign chairmen by David A. Brown.
The call, the text of which was published in the Anglo-Jewish press in the country, relates that: “A special meeting of the officers of the Joint Distribution Committee and the United Jewish Campaign was held on Sunday, April 24th, at the home of Louis Marshall, New York City, to consider ways and means of meeting the very grave situation now confronting the Joint Distribution Committee because of the lack of funds to meet the program in Eastern Europe, in Russia and elsewhere.
“The Treasurer of the Joint Distribution Committee reported that there was on that day in the treasury a total of only $35,000. For the remainder of April and up to September 1st, 1927, there is needed $1,850,000 more, if we are to continue the program which we have authorized Dr. Rosen and Dr. Kahn to carry out. In addition to this sum the Joint Distribution Committee now owes $500,000 borrowed on the notes of a few leaders. Four hundred thousand of these notes are payable early in May. The United Jewish Campaign has achieved a splendid record in securing about $20,000,000 in subscriptions up to this time, and a remarkable showing has been made in the collection of $6,700,000 which has already been turned over to the Joint Distribution Committee.
“Our lack of funds in large measure is due to the fact that at the September conference in Philadelphia in 1925, the Joint Distribution Committee was authorized to begin its program to help immedately, and we were compelled to borrow $1,000,000 in advance of collections.
“The actual city campaigns throughout the country, however, were not commenced in most cases until the midspring in 1926. Many large communities did not start their campaigns until the fall of 1926. Some campaigns were commenced during the early part of this year, and several large communities have still to meet their responsibility. For that reason the Joint Distribution Committee has, since the beginning of this campaign, been compelled to borrow in anticipation of the later collections of the campaign, and there has been a deficit of about $1,000,000. The monthly drawings are approximately $500,000.
“While the great mass of the communities have loyally met their obligations in securing subscriptions, and in making their payments, the outstanding fact is, that because of the gap between the inception of the new program of the Joint Distribution Committee has had to resort to constant borrowing over a period of a year and a half,” Mr. Brown declares in his call.
A report showing how the funds received to date in the United Jewish Campaign have been applied to the relief and reconstruction operations of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in thirteen countries of Europe and in Palestine was issued by David A. Brown.
The sums turned in to the national headquarters of the campaign in actual payments, out of the $20,000,000 pledged through local drives in over 2,500 cities in the United States and Canada, and which were immediately transmitted for the work abroad, amounted up to Mar, 31 of this year, according to Mr. Brown’s statement, to $6,197,395. The countries benefited include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czecho-Slovakia, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Palestine, Poland, Roumania, Russia and Turkey. Among these, the largest amounts have been devoted to Russia, Poland, and Palestine.
Although for most of the countries the appropriations fall within the period from Jan. 1, 1926, to the last of March of this year, the disbursements for Russia actually begin with the summer of 1925. Before Dec. 31, 1925, $500,840 was epent in loans to settlers, and purchase of farm implements, seed, live stock, and building materials for the new colonies, representing funds borrowed by the Joint Distribution Committee in advance of the launching of the United Jewish Campaign in September of that year. With this, the total spent to the end of March in Russia is $3,132,027. Of this amount, $2,005,547 was applied in the twelve months of 1926, and $625,636 in the first three months of this year.
The Russian appropriation is devoted in part also to relief of Jews remaining in the cities, through aid of artisans’ organizations, co-operative credit organizations, medical and sanitary work, schools, and other community institutions.
The next largest amount was spent in Poland, approximately $1,800,000. To alleviate the need and suffering following the general economic collapse in that count yearly last year, the Joint Distribution was forced to take up a loan on account of the funds to be collected in the campaign in order to make funds available immediately for keeping going the hospitals and orphanages, schools, and co-operative credit institutions, for emergency feeding of orphans and school children and unemployed workers, and the creation of free loan societies.
Of the entire amount of $712,000 devoted to emergency aid in Poland, only $160,000 was spent on so-called pure relief, this chiefly to create work for the unemployed. Fifty-seven thousand dollars was spent on the emergency soup-kitchens and $120,000 on the feeding of school children.
Polish Jewry participates in regular J. D. C. child-care program to the extent of 60 per cent of the budget. In the medical work, the local participation is about $150,000 yearly, and in the work of the cooperative loan kassas the local population has an own investment of over 3,000,000 zlotys, and deposits in the kassas amounting to 7,000,000 zlotys.
The third largest appropriation, $4##,745, was set aside for furthering the economic development of Palestine, and for orphan care, malaria prevention, and emergency relief in that country.
Of the rest of the entire sum, approximately $410,000, was spent in the direct activities of the J. D. C. for child care, medical, and reconstruction work, in the eleven remaining countries. In addition, the Cultural Committee, under the chairmanship of Dr. Cyrus Adler of Philadelphia, allocated $638,000 for reconstruction and support of educational and religious institutions through the three constituent committees of the J. D. C. In the July 1925-March 1927 period, $360,000 was spent through the Central Relief Committee and $150,000 through the People’s Relief Committee, in work affecting all the Eastern European countries except Russia. Similarly $127,000 was spent through the American Jewish Relief Committee in the period of January 1926-March 1927. One hundred and nineteen thousand dollars was devoted to work conducted in cooperation with the Ort, and $82,000 for work in conjunction with the Ica.
An analysis by functions shows that the entire sum of $6,197,395 was applied to the several phases of relief, health, reconstruction, and agricultural aid work, in all the countries, as follows: emergency relief, of which the bulk was devoted to the building up of the free loan societies, $999,808; medico-sanitary work, $570,208; reconstruction, concentrated on the support and expansion of the system of cooperative loan and credit organizations, or kassas, $601,900; refugee aid, $34,960; child care, comprising the work of orphanages, foster homes, and establishment and maintenance of trade training schools, and workshops, summer colonies, etc., $701,364; cultural activities, $690,650; agricultural, $2,598,504.
“This literal demonstration that the entire structure of the work abroad has been sustained solely by the campaign collection monies for the past twenty months, and that these have been transmitted abroad as fast as they were turned in, to the last dollars, explains the present emergency situation of the J. D. C., whose officers have been obliged to issue an appeal to state and local leaders of the campaign throughout the country asking them to call in further pledge payments with the utmost possible speed, and even to make a special appeal for advance payment of pledge instalments not yet due,” Mr. Brown declares in his statement.
“The men responsible for the drives in a number of leading cities have been asked to borrow on funds still to be collected in their communities, in order that the work abroad more crucially needed now than ever, should not be allowed to lapse. The J. D. C. at present,” Mr. Brown said, “is faced with an absolute shortage of funds to meet the commitments already undertaken for the next ensuing months. The budget requirements for the work in Europe between now and Sept. 1 amount to $1,850,000. With all reserve and borrowed funds exhausted, only the response to the country-wide emergency muster of advance funds can determine whether the J. D. C. will be able to keep faith and carry out the solemn promise of American Jewry to help their brethren in Europe to win through the tragic crisis of need in which they are now struggling,” he declared.