South African Jewry is planning a new campaign to raise funds to aid German-Jewish exiles who have found a haven in that country, it was revealed yesterday by Benjamin Kaumheimer, chairman of the South African Fund for German Jewry.
Mr. Kaumheimer, who has been in this country on a business and pleasure trip of five weeks, sailed yesterday on the liner Empress of Britain.
CLEARING AWAY DIFFICULTIES
Mr. Kaumheimer disclosed that the difficulties besetting the German Jewish refugees in his country are many but that slowly and inexorably they are being overcome. Although hesitant to venture an estimate of the exact number of German Jews in South Africa he stated that a “goodly number have already arrived.”
“There are no political or social restrictions facing these people,” he continued. “But the difficulties arise in finding employment for them. This we have been doing for the past eighteen months as a result of our first drive and we hope to continue to be able to do as much through the medium of the South African Fund.”
“The difficulties facing these people and the committee may further be seen when the unemployment situation in South Africa is considered. It is only by titanic work on the part of the German-Jewish refugee committee that we have made as much progress as we have in the last year and a half.
Mr. Kaumheimer, who came to this country with his wife five weeks ago on their first visit to America, expressed enthusiasm at the work done for the Jewish people by the leaders of American Jewry.
“I was particularly pleased,” he said, “to find that such men as Untermyer and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise are devoting so much of their time to the betterment of Jews throughout the world. It was the work of these influential Jews which I observed in my visits to many cities in America that gave me the greatest satisfaction.”
Mr. Kaumheimer, besides heading the committee that comprises the South African Fund for German Jewry, is also in charge of the South African Jewish Orphanage at Johannesburg. This institution, housed in model buildings and harboring more than 400 Jewish children, is not only one of the finest orphanages on the South African continent but one of the outstanding organizations of its kind in the world. The orphanage has a tremendous acreage and buildings that are unsurpassed in beauty and facilities.
HIS SERVICE LAUDED
While Mr. Kaumheimer was in London he received the following dispatch from the members of the committee, among whom are included Chief Rabbi Dr. J. L. Landau, president, Rev. A. P. Bender, and Mr. Justice Greenberg:
“In taking over the office of vice-chairman of the South African Fund during your absence overseas, I would take advantage of the opportunity to express on behalf of my colleagues and self our appreciation of your efforts to assist the German Jewish immigrants arriving in Johannesburg.
“Whenever your services have been required you have placed yourself unreservedly at the disposal of the Committee, and have always been willing to give your time and assist them with valuable and far-seeing advice.”
Mr. Kaumheimer will go first to London before departing for Johannesburg for meetings with Chief Rabbi Dr. Hertz and other leading Jews in England in order to discuss plans for the forthcoming drive for funds.