Austrian Jewry Aroused at Failure of Budget to Include Kehillahs’ Subsidy

The failure of the Austrian cabinet to include in the new budget submitted to Parliament today a subvention for the Jewish communities has met with great opposition on the part of Austrian Jewry’s spokesmen. They see in this action of the under government not only a breach of the constitution but also a continuation of the old policy of permitting the Jews to be the only group whose religious needs do not have the support of the government.

Successive governments in the last three years have promised to adjust this matter but some reason for putting it off has always been found. The opposition of the Vienna municipality, the obstacles interposed by various government departments and the plea that the Jews are wealthy enough to take care of their own religious needs were some of the excuses given. This last objection, it is pointed out, overlooks the fact the economic decline of Austrian Jewry has led to a curtailment of the activities of the Jewish communities.

Meanwhile the government department concerned with the question of a subsidy for the Jewish communities has appealed to the Jews to be patient until the cabinet finds a suitable opportunity for introducing the Jewish communities’ subsidy and can obtain parliamentary approval for it. An official of this department explained to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the economic crisis and the growing unemployment make caution necessary.

It is intimated that the Jewish demands may be submitted to Parliament during the debate on the budget next week. Meanwhile Jewish leaders here are not optimistic since even if Parliament sanctions a subsidy it will have to be referred to the proper government department to fix the amount. This would again cause a delay while other denominations would be receiving millions for their religious needs.

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