Warsaw (Dec. 14)
The Union of Jewish compositors has called a strike in the Jewish printing shops here because their demands for an increase in wages had been refused.
DESPERATE NEED OF FUNDS BY FREE LOAN SOCIETIES OF POLAND TOLD IN UNITED JEWISH CAMPAIGN REPORT
Reduction by 50 per cent of repayments of loans to the 583 Gemilath Chesed Kassas fostered in Poland by the American Joint Foundation, is revealed in a report from Dr. Bernhard Kahn, European Director of the Joint Distribution Committee, covering the first nine months of the current year, made public by Chairman David A. Brown of the United Jewish Campaign.
“In August 1928, the Gemilath Chesed Kassas, began to make repayments of the loans granted to them in previous years.” Dr. Kahn says in his report. “The repayments for 1928 amounted to about 10 per cent of our invested capital, and the Gemilath Chesed Kassas met their obligations for that year punctually and completely. According to plan, another 20 per cent, was due this year. However, the extremely severe winter of 1928-29 deprived the Jewish population of hundreds of small towns and villages in Poland (and in Roumania, Lithuania and other countries as well) of their income. Communications were cut off by heavy snow-falls and by frozen rivers for weeks and even for months, causing the closing of markets. The consequences of crop-failures during the preceding fall made themselves seriously felt.
“On account of these circumstances, I changed the repayment plan 50 that only 10 per cent. (5 per cent each half year) should be repaid during this year. These repayments, together with an additional sum of $35,000, have been reivested in the kassas. In addition, $15,000 were provided for a number of kassas situated in the famine districts of Wilna.
“Conditions in certain districts near Vilna, where the crop-failure had occurred, were so bad that I decided to supplement the constructive relief extended by the Gemilath Chesed Kassas by feeding school children in the neighboring towns, as well as certain groups of children in Vilna, especially the pupils of the Jewish and Hebrew teachers’ seminaries.”
Continuing his report on Poland, Dr. Kahn says: “Lack of funds prevented us from putting into effect to a large extent certain industrialization plans.”
Lack of funds, too, Dr. Kahn reports, rendered impossible adequate support of the Jewish institutions of Lithuania and Roumania. However, at the urgent request of the Jewish population of Kovno, presented by Chief Rabbi Shapiro, a substantial amount was granted by him for rebuilding and enlarging the century-old Jewish hospital there.
“There is more to the report of Dr. Kahn, European director of the Joint Distribution Committee, but I want to stress one phrase that is repeated with heart-breaking frequency in a document which he has tried to make objective,” Mr. Brown said.
“That phrase is ‘lack of funds” We could not come to the relief of this situation, we had to close our ears to pleas for help, because of ‘lack of funds.’
“Another winter has come. To our desperately struggling people overseas, an early winter spells new hardship, new tragedy, just as was the case a year ago.
“This is the reason why it is essential that every dollar pledged to the United Jewish Campaign shall be paid immediately.”