This is the third of a series of daily interviews with James N. Rosenberg, chairman of the New York campaign of the Allied Jewish Campaign, in which he discusses various aspects of the $6,000,000 campaign for the Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency.
3. “Appropriately enough ‘Gemiloth Chessed’ are the words applied to the free loan societies in Poland which have so many good deeds to their credit and will have even more when the additional funds to be obtained from the Allied Jewish Campaign are available.
“In the last few months about 100,000 people have borrowed from these free loan societies loans averaging eleven dollars. With the aid of these small sums, in most cases hardly more than what we in the United States pay for a pair of theatre tickets from a speculator, entire families have been rescued. The most remarkable thing about these loans is that 94Â½ percent of them are being repaid.
“More than $3,700,000 in 354,000 small loans were loaned by these free loan kassas from 1926 to 1929.
“In order to allow these institutions that specialize in good deeds to work on a larger scale there is an immediate need for additional capital as a revolving fund. More of these free loan kassas are needed in Poland; they should be established in Lithuania, in Roumania and in other countries.
“This, however, is impossible without funds from the United States, funds to supplement what the Jews of Europe are doing to help themselves. And the funds for this widespread doing of good deeds through the ‘Gemiloth Chessed’ societies will come from the $6,000,000 to be raised by the Allied Jewish Campaign.”