Hias Convention Votes $250,000 Campaign to Aid Emigration

A campaign to raise more than $250,000 to enlarge its Transportation Fund in order to meet the emergency situation confronting Jews in Nazi Austria and other countries of anti-Jewish oppression was voted unanimously today by more than 1,500 delegates at the 54th annual convention of the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) held in the Hotel Astor.

The funds are to be applied towards aiding in the emigration of Jewish families from Eastern Europe “to such countries overseas, where such assistance is not contrary to the laws of the countries of admission.” The Transportation Fund was established two years ago by HIAS with the cooperation of the Jewish Colonization Association (ICA), and has united a large number of Jewish families which otherwise would not take place. The fund will be raised in addition to the annual budget, which was $321,188 in 1937.

The convention also called upon Great Britain to lower immigration restrictions into Palestine, decided to petition the League of Nations for continuation of the High Commission for Refugees, expressed its appreciation to the League for the results obtained by the International Conference on refugees it recently sponsored and repledged support to the ICA.

Abraham Herman, in his presidential message, warned that Nazi propaganda menaced the Jews in Ecuador, Mexico, Brazil, Poland and Rumania as well as Germany. He said that during 1937 the HIAS-ICA Emigration Association helped 27,828 Jewish migrants from Central and Eastern Europe to find havens of refuge in overseas countries.

Isaac L. Asofsky, general manager of HIAS, reported that during the year 11,352 Jewish immigrants, a majority of them refugees from Germany, were admitted to the United States, while Argentine, Brazil and other South American countries admitted a similar number.

“HIAS and its affiliates in 32 countries must get ready to double or treble their service to Jewish refugees in this hour of emergency,” he said, “and for this reason a union of all agencies in kindred work should be formed with the HIAS-ICA Emigration Association as the executive arm. HIAS is ready to consider the possibilities of such a union and extends a cordial invitation to all to cooperate in the performance of this greatly urgent and humanitarian task.”

Senator Elbert D. Thomas of Utah declared that now, more than any other time in the history of the world, was the appreciation of one’s neighbor’s important. “Just as forebearance is greater than persecution, and toleration greater than forebearance, appreciation is greater than all of them,” he asserted.

Henry B. Hazzard, assistant to the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization in Washington, urged members of the convention to support the Dies Immigration Bill that passed the House of Representatives and is now before the Senate.

Following the convention more than 400 persons attended a banquet for Mr. Herman who is celebrating his 60th birthday and 13th year of service to the organization. B. Charney Vladeck was toastmaster.

NEXT STORY