Polish East European Jews Received $1,040,000 Aid in 1935
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Polish East European Jews Received $1,040,000 Aid in 1935

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Jews in Poland and other East European lands benefited to the extent of $1,040,000 last year by funds raised for their aid by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and its affiliate, the American Joint Reconstruction Foundation, according to the annual report made public today by Joseph C. Hyman, executive director. The document deals with the committee’s East European activities.

The 1935 appropriation brings the total of J.D.C. funds expended since 1914 on behalf of Polish Jews to more than $27,000,000.

The report on Eastern Europe is the second of four pamphlets which together will form the annual report of J.D.C. activities for 1935. A report accounting for $300,000 expended by the J.D.C. in aid of Jews in Germany already has been made public. The third pamphlet, based on J.D.C. activities in behalf of refugees from Germany, will be issued shortly.

During last year, the J.D.C. appropriated $376,000 to child care federations, trade training schools, medical and sanitary institutions, educational, religious and cultural bodies, and to free loan societies rendering economic assistance to Jewish masses in Poland, Rumania, Latvia, Lithuania, Czechoslovakia and other East European lands.

The largest single grant for Polish Jews was $74,500, allocated to organizations in child care and summer colony work in that country.

Declaring that continued support of Jewish schools in Poland is of paramount importance, the report points out that “children in attendance in non-Jewish schools are being forced out by the anti-Semitism of their classmates and teachers.

“In spite of their great poverty, the Jewish population is making every sacrifice to enable their children to go to school. The budgets of the various Jewish schools run into millions of zlotys and are for the most part provided directly by the parents who have children at school or through collections from the Jewish masses. The local income must be supplemented, however, since the stoppage of government and communal contributions has resulted in a considerable deficit in the school budgets.”

Normal subsidies given by East European governments, says the report, in support of Jewish cultural, educational, health and other activities of a social or welfare nature have either been drastically reduced or stopped.

“The efforts of the Joint Distribution Committee,” the document concludes,” and its allied organizations are by no means commensurate with the needs of East European Jewry. The Jews are victims of every calamity that plagues the world today. In addition to the ravages of the world economic depression, war and threats of war from which all people suffer, the Jews are ever confronted with constantly rising waves of anti-Semitism.

“While the impoverished masses in most countries are helped in some measures by their respective governments, the Jews are neglected and discriminated against.”

The American Joint Reconstruction Foundation last year appropriated $266,000 in new funds to cooperative loan societies it maintains for economic aid to Jews in East European lands.

The Foundation, established by the J.D.C. in cooperation with the Jewish Colonization Association in 1924 to strengthen the cooperative credit movement which the J.D.C. had begun, appropriated new funds during 1935 to cooperative banks. These units loaned about $16,000,000 at low interest rates to approximately 213,000 Jews, mostly artisans, small traders and farmers.

Apart from rendering financial aid to small merchants and tradesmen through its cooperative banks, the Foundation stimulates the organization and continued operation of consumers cooperatives for workers, producers cooperatives for artisans, and gives assistance to Jewish farmers.

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