The three largest religious groups in America, represented by Dr. Albert W. Beavan, President of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America; His Eminence, Patrick Cardinal Hayes; and Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, issued a plea Friday for “a continuance of the spirit of neighborly helpfulness and generosity in keeping with the finest American and human traditions.” Dr. Beavan, Cardinal Hayes and Rabbi Silver are members of the National Citizens Committee of the 1934 Mobilization for Human Needs.
Rabbi Silver is quoted as stating:
“It is possible that some day all of our social agencies will be maintained through public taxation. But that day is not yet here. The needy and the handicapped, the aged and the sick, the orphan and the homeless are still with us.
“Our Federal Government, individual states and municipalities are spending vast sums on unemployment relief, but beyond a certain point these funds will not go. Our hospitals must go on, clinics and dispensaries must remain open, foster homes and orphanages, and homes for the aged cannot close. Settlements, recreation centers and all our character-building agencies cannot cease their work without seriously increasing the tension of the crisis through which we are passing.
“The presence in every community of social agencies, built largely by the private initiative of public-spirited citizens and maintained by their free-will offerings, has contributed mightily in maintaining morale in these trying times. When its hungry are fed, its homeless sheltered, its sick cared for, its children shielded and protected, a people will endure much hardship and suffering without losing courage or hope. People are being asked to give liberally to agencies of human welfare at a time when they themselves have suffered from the ravages of five years of depression.
“The challenge this year is to that broad human sympathy, as well as social wisdom, which calls for a hard sharing of the things which we ourselves need with those who need it more. Both the law and the tradition of Judaism make the generous sharing of one’s substance with the needy morally mandatory. “