NEW YORK (Jan. 12)
The greatest relief fund-raising venture in the history of American Jewry emerged today from the unification of the campaigns of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the United Palestine Appeal and the National Coordinating Committee Fund into the United Jewish Appeal for Refugees and Overseas Needs.
The announcement by the chairmen, Rabbis Abba Hillel Silver and Jonah B. Wise, mentioned no goal except to say that the minimum requirement was at least three to four times the sums raised by all the agencies during 1938, but it was learned that a goal of $20,000,000 has been set for 1939.
The first $9,500,000 raised will be used to meet present commitments of the organizations as follows: J.D.C., $5,000,000; U.P.A., $2,500,000, and the Coordinating Committee, $2,000,000. The remaining $11,500,000, or whatever part of that amount is raised ## divided among the organizations on the basis of needs by an allocations committee.
Creation of the allocations committee is expected to solve difficulties of ## which local communities have struggled with for years by concentrating the responsibility for the sharing of American Jewry’s relief chest. The committee will comprise two persons nominated by the J.D.C., two selected by the U.P.A. and a fifth member selected by these four. The members of the committee have not yet been nominated.
The program of aid which the united fund will support was outlined in the announcement by the chairmen as follows:
“1. The Joint Distribution Committee will provide immediate assistance and emergency aid to Jews within Germany and Austria and to the German refugees in European and other lands, enabling many thousand individuals, whenever possible, to find new homes. The J.D.C. will also continue its extensive program of reconstructive aid and emergency assistance to the Jews of Poland, Rumania and other countries of Eastern Europe and Central Europe.
“2. The United Palestine Appeal will promote the immigration and settlement in Palestine of many thousands who must leave Germany and other countries in order to escape destruction. It also maintains existing institutions for the benefit of Jews in Palestine and for the thousands that have come there in recent years, advancing the upbuilding of the country through the promotion of immigration, colonization and land purchase and other activities to enlarge the absorptive capacity of the country.
“3. The National Coordinating Committee Fund, Inc., which is the agency concerned with the problem of German refugees coming to this country, will continue its work of helping these refugees adjust themselves to their new environment.”
The three-way agreement, which is for one year, was reached at a series of conferences held over a period of several months. Those who participated were: for the J.D.C., Paul Baerwald, Isador Coons, Joseph C. Hyman, Henry Ittleson, Albert D. Lasker, Samuel D. Leidesdorf, Dr. Solomon Lowenstein, James N. Rosenberg, William Rosenwald, Edward M.M. Warburg and Rabbi Wise; for the U.P.A., Rabbi Israel Goldstein, Louis Lipsky, Henry Montor, Judge Morris Rothenberg, Rabbi Silver and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise; for the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, H.L. Lurie, Charles Rosenbloom, William J. Shroder, Joseph Willen and Ira Younker.
Today’s announcement by Rabbis Silver and Wise stressed that unprecedented sacrifice on the part of the American Jews was necessary to meet the increasing needs of more than 6,000,000 Jews. The American Jewish communities, the statement said, realized the increased needs and expressed a strong desire to meet their greater responsibilities. The unified fund-raising activities will discourage sporadic and ineffectual activities of newly-formed committees which lack experience and facilities to collect and administer the funds so urgently needed in this critical period, the announcement said.