NEW YORK (Apr. 27)
The Joint Distribution Committee said today in a statement that it would not allocate any money for Palestine this year because it was “faced with almost unbearable burdens” in Germany, Poland and other countries, In the past it has expended ever $9,700,000 in the Holy Land.
The J.D.C. is also not planning to expend any funds in Russia because “the work of farm settlement in the Crimea and the Ukraine, and of placing Jews in Russian industrial life has proceeded so successfully that we are happily freed from such a duty at this time.” The statement added that the Biro-Bidjan project was being “carefully considered” by the Agro-Joint.
The statement was made to clarify the J.D.C.’s position toward Palestine, the Council for German Jewry, Poland and Russia. It is signed by Felix M. Warburg, honorary chairman; Paul Baerwald, chairman; Governor Lehman and James N. Rosenberg, vice-chairmen, and other executives.
“The primary task of the Joint Distribution Committee today is to help the Jews of Germany — when possible -and to help them to go from Germany,” the statement said, “Especially its task is to give succor and education to as many as possible of the 60,000 unhappy Jewish children within the borders of Germany.”
Declaring that the J.D.C. regarded the building of Jewish life in Palestine as “an objective of profound significance,” the statement pointed out that other organizations were collecting funds for the Holy Land. It added that the J.D.C. has paid one-half of the transportation expenses of German refugees to Palestine, spent large sums in training them for work in Palestine and planned to continue such expenditures, “but it feels justified in expecting other agencies to give them their start in Palestine.”
Describing the plight of the Jews in Poland, the statement said: “The least the Joint Distribution Committee can do is to expand those of its services which have already proven essential; this is chiefly in strengthening the free loan societies, the continuation of medical work and aid for training and educational institutions.”
“The Jews in other countries of Eastern Europe, particularly Rumania, are also critically in need of our support,” the statement continued. In connection with Germany it said the J.D.C. would cooperate with the Refugee Economic Corporation organized in the United States.