PARIS (May. 16)
The role of the cooperative credit system established by the American Jewish Jlint Reconstruction Foundation in aiding some 500,000 Jews in eleven European countries by facilitating issuance of $28,000,000 in credits in nine months was described today in a report of the foundation.
The report, covering activities in the first nine months of 1936, was made public by Dr. Bernhard Kahn and David J. Schweitzer, European director and vice-president, respectively, of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. They are leaving tomorrow for a tour of investigation is several Central and East European countries. They will spend a good deal of time in Poland.
The foundation conducts its activities through a chain of 762,000 cooperative loan banks in eleven countries, the report points out. These banks also render financial assistance to Jewish farmers and to Jews in all kinds of agricultural work. The banks are practically the only source of cheap business credit for Jews in Poland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Rumania, Turkey, Bulgaria and Germany. Of late the cooperative banks have also alleviated distress of Jewish refugees from Germany.
The total membership of the loan banks at the end of September, 1936, was 192,386. Thus, a half million people were helped directly or indirectly by the foundation’s activities. During the first nine months of 1936 the loan banks extended about 180,000 loans aggregating $28,000,000, of which over $12,000,000 was outstanding at the end of September, 1936. In addition to ordinary credits, the foundation continued to provide special credits for loans to Jewish artisans as well as to formers and fruit and vegetable growers.
A number of loan banks were assisted by the foundation in meeting their operating expenses and were thus relieved of part of their financial burden. Furthermore, realizing the important role played by loan banks in Jewish life, the foundation consented to heavy financial sacrifices in favor of the banks wherever such action appeared necessary and likely to be successful to consolidate and fortify existing institutions and to rescue those whose existence was endangered.