The announcement that the Joint Distribution Committee and the Zionists have again entered into partnership for raising funds in America will be received by many with great satisfaction. While this announcement does not indicate how the funds raised will be allocated to each of the partners, still it is gratifying to see that an understanding has been reached between these two groups and to know that the raising of funds for Jewish activities abroad will be carried out in unity.
Never before has European Jewry been so dependent upon American relief as now, when millions of Jews have been reduced to beggary in various European countries. The plight of European Jewry was not so serious during the war, when the JDC carried on intensified relief work there through special units, as it is today. News reaching this country from Poland pictures even well-to-do Jews as approaching dependence upon charity. The same is true also with regard to the situation in Austria and in Baltic countries.
JDC RELIEF IN GERMANY
A tragic chapter in itself is the situation of German Jewry, which continues to grow worse. The Jewish communities in Germany which maintain numerous welfare institutions are getting poorer and poorer. The number of Jewish taxpayers to the Jewish communities is diminishing daily. Many former contributors for Jewish welfare have themselves become dependent on welfare institutions. Not only are they no longer in a position to contribute funds for Jewish institutions, but on the contrary, they are existing on the relief which these institutions provide.
With the incomes of the Jewish communities in Germany sinking and with the demand for relief increasing, it is no wonder that more than seventy per cent of relief activities conducted in Germany last year were covered by the funds of the Joint Distribution Committee. This was the first time that German Jewry, which has always given generously, existed on Jewish charity from abroad.
CAMPAIGN MUST SUCCEED
The problem of supporting German Jewry will no doubt increase this year when the Saar has been added to Germany and when the income of Jewish communities throughout the Reich will have decreased even further. The Joint Distribution Committee will thus face in 1935 a situation requiring the extension of its activities in Germany. Not to mention Poland, where Jewish misery has reached unheard of proportions.
The united campaign announced jointly by the JDC and the Zionists must therefore be one hundred per cent successful. The $3,250,000 quota set must be collected in full. Every Jew in the United States must be made to understand that 1935 is a crucial year in Jewish relief work. A year in which European Jewry will require much more relief than during the post-war period. Every Jew in America, whether Zionist or non-Zionist, must be made to contribute to the United Campaign, especially since each of the two partnersâ€”the Joint Distribution Committee and the Zionistsâ€” has entire freedom of action with respect to distributing its share of the funds collected.