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Funds from U.S. Aid 27,000 Children in Poland

Funds from the United States are helping care for 27,000 Jewish children in Poland who are under the protection of Centos, central union of Jewish organizations engaged in child welfare work, a national conference of Jewish leaders was told here today.

Among those attending the conference are Dr. Bernhard Kahn, European director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and David J. Schweitzer, its financial administrator.

Representative of Centos, which has been supported by the J.D.C. since 1924 when it took over child welfare work organized by the American body, sketched the difficult position of Poland’s Jewish population and described the great strides made in giving assistance to children.

Emphasis was laid on the organization’s efforts in the fields of vocational training which, it was stated, were meeting with external and internal difficulties.

Despite handicaps, it was declared, the number of children whose activities are supervised by Centos increased from 17,000 in 1924 to 27,000 at the present time.

In the same period, the number of local institutions engaged in child welfare work increased from 74 to 105, operating under a total budget of approximately 3,000,000 zlotys (about $600,000, as compared to a budget of 2,700,000 zlotys in 1934.

The Jewish population in Poland itself contributed more than 73 per cent of the Centos budget, it was announced, the remainder coming from the United States.

During a general discussion, the opinion was expressed that all Jewish social welfare organizations in Poland, including the child care institutions, would be able to carry on their work successfully in the current year.

Speakers representing Centos pointed out that the present situation of Polish Jewry had a particularly disastrous effect on children. They urged upon Dr. Kahn and Mr. Schweitzer the necessity of further developing Centos activities and stabilizing its budget.

Replying, Dr. Kahn stressed the value of Centos work and praised the efforts of the institution’s leadership and other leading personalities who “made possible in these difficult times development of an organization mobilizing financial assistance in the provinces.”

Dr. Kahn promised the J.D.C. would fulfill the greater part of the Centos needs and would be prepared to offer necessary financial assistance for localities in especially great need. He said the J.D.C. also distributes its contributions so that not only children would benefit but also Jewish small tradesmen, artisans and workers.

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