The welcome of American Jewish leaders to Felix M. Warburg upon his return from visits to Palestine, Russia and Poland during his trip around the world, was expressed by Louis Marshall, president of the American Jewish Committee, who acted as toast-master at the dinner on Thursday evening, at the Hotel Astor.
“We all feel to you a debt of gratiture, Mr. Warburg,” Mr. Marshall declared, “not merely for having taken this trip for the purpose of assuring us of the worthwhileness of our efforts, our endeavors, of the satisfactory way in which the work we are doing and have been trying to do has been done and is being done, of satisfying us that we have not built our house upon the sands, but upon the solid rock of practicability. We also feel that here is an opportunity, at least for us to enable you to appreciate a tithe, a tithe of the love and affection, the trust and confidence that every Jew of the United States feels for you.
“It is difficult, exceedingly difficult for a man to tell another man to his face what he thinks of him and it is equally difficult and perhaps multiplied by the number of people who are here for each and all of us to say the same thing. I will therefore merely say in a single sentence what we feel. If we are called upon to express the highest praise that we wish to bestow upon anybody, we will say, and should say: May you be like Felix Warburg!’ “
Following the report of Mr. Paul Baerwald on the progress of the collections of the Joint Distribution Committee, Mr. Warburg delivered his address, which was greeted with a long-lasting ovation.
Mr. David Brown, national chairman of the United Jewish Campaign, followed Mr. Warburg.
“I am not a bit concerned with the progress of our work in general,” Mr. Brown said. “I am not now concerned with the campaign. The great bulk of it is over. We have come near the twenty-million-dollar mark. We have a number of campaigns yet to see through over the country, a number to be projected. Many communities have not yet conducted a campaign for one reason or another. Many of the communities conducted a one-year campaign. We have those campaigns to conduct in 1927 and 1928, but in other communities that have had no campaigns the drives will be held practically all this year, and we should be generally finished, I should say, by the end of this year.
“So far as having concern over the routine process of collections goes, the actual fact is that we have done remarkably well up to this time,” the national chairman declared. “We have collected up to date approximately $7,800,000, and that is what we should have according to the contemplated proportion of collections for this time. Most of our campaigns were three year drives, with one-third due the first year. another the second year. and the final third in the third year.
“The Jews of America. I say, have set a remarkable record in this campaign. They have given–and they have paid–as never before.
“One of the most remarkable demonstrations of loyal and self-sacrificing effort is the response which has come from the southern states in the flood area. We permitted no appeal for advance payments in these communities while they are in this crisis of their own situation. Yet in spite of the blow to business and the whole disruption of economic routine, the states of that section are coming through to the hill with their payments, with a sense of responsibility that holds in the face of the most remendous obstacles.
“All that I am concerned with is the problem of assuring a sufficient turning in of funds for the upkeep of the work in the next months, in the face of the general let-up of summer. when people are away from home, many of them out of the country, and not thinking about paying pledges. But at the same time we must have money coming in to cover the appropriations for the actual work already scheduled for these months. The budget Mr. Baerwald has just outlined to you shows that we need approximately $500,000 a month.
“I know Europe. I know the people over there and I know they are expecting us to send them these $500,000 a month. And we can’t send it unless we get it in. That is why I am in America at this moment. That is why I did not meet Mr. Warburg at Moscow.
“The call went out four weeks ago over the country and already we have $1,090,000 of that $2,000,000. Now all we need is the last $910,000. All we need for this particular period, over the summer, is that $910,000.
“I am not worrying about when our people come back. When they come back they will begin to function again.
“I am not only speaking to you, but to many other people who are not here. I would like to have that $2,000,000 in the treasury so I can go away. That is all I have to say to you people to night and I want to say it to Mr. War-burg too. He ought to know–I think he does know–the marvelous manner in which the people have responded to our appeals during the time he was out of the country. They have assumed a great responsibility. We are not getting in the money fast enough at the present time, and if you will just pass this word out through the country into every community. I am sure there will be a hearty response. If they have to send us advance subscriptions or not help us to get that $2,000,000 Release me. I am shackled here in America as long as the treasury is empty.”