Over one million dollars has been spent by the American Joint Distributiontion Committee during the last year for reconstruction work among the Jews of Eastern Europe, declared Dr. Bernard Kahn, European director of the committee, in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on his arrival in this country Friday. This sum, Dr. Kahn pointed out, has enabled the realization of only half of the work planned by the Committee in the last year.
Dr. Kahn is here to report to the Executive Committee of the Joint Distribution Committee, which since the World War has spent more than $100,000,000 on reconstruction activities among East European Jewries. His chief aim is “to enlist the aid of American Jewry for the continuance of assistance in the reconstruction work in Europe which of late has diminished. European Jewish leaders are well aware of the present economic crisis in America,” Dr. Kahn said, “but they are ready to carry on with their reconstruction work despite the great reduction in funds from America and despite the fact that European countries too are suffering from an economic depression in which the Jews suffer most.
LEADERS HAVE COURAGE
“Leaders of Jewry in Europe have the moral courage to go on with their work because they are convinced that the present slack in financial assistance from American Jewry is only temporary, and they feel sure that the American Jews will again generously assist their brethren in Europe as soon as economic conditions in the United States improve. Without this conviction the reconstruction work among the Jews of Europe would have broken down,” Dr. Kahn declared.
Referring to the work of the Jewish Cooperative Societies of Eastern Europe, Dr. Kahn pointed out that over 700 of these had been established and subsidized by the Foundation and the Ica in 13 countries and districts of Eastern Europe. In Poland alone there are 520. Over 600 free loan societies were founded in Poland and subsidized by the Joint Distribution Committee. Dr. Kahn also pointed to the Joint Distribution Committee’s work in subsidizing the medical societies, which do notable medical work among the Eastern Jews and to its financial assistance to Jewish Child Care Societies, schools, orphanages, camps and hospitals in Eastern Europe.
HOPEFUL ON PALESTINE POLICY
Touching on the statement of Premier MacDonald during the parliamentary debate on Palestine, Dr. Kahn, who is a member of the Eexcutive of the Jewish Agency, says that shortly before the debate opened he had a long conversation with Dr. Weizmann and Dr. Hexter in Paris on the eve of his sailing. He learned of the parliamentary debate when he landed in New York and therefore would make no comment on it but he hoped that negotiations between the Agency and the British government would finally bring about satisfactory results.