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Jewish Organizations Submit Memoranda

Memoranda calling for enlargement of the scope of the Intergovernmental Refugee Committee’s work and more liberal treatment of refugees by the various nations were submitted to the Washington conference by Jewish organizations. Among the bodies submitting statements were the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the ORT, the American Jewish Congress and the American Emergency Committee on Palestine Affairs.

A 14-point program for ameliorating the plight of refugees is contained in a memorandum submitted by a delegation representing HIAS, headed by Abraham Herman, president of the society, and S. Dingol, of the Jewish Day. The memorandum proposes that countries of admission allow refugees to enter on more flexible terms; that countries of settlement or proposed settlement, such as Australia and Alaska, contribute to the cost of establishing the colonization projects; that Britain open Palestine’s doors, that nations adopt a more liberal policy on admission of immigrants’ relatives, that temporary and illegal immigrante in various countries be permitted to remain permanently, that governments issue long-term bonds to cover the cost of refugee settlement, that neutral vessels be assigned to transport migrants, and that some organization like the Pan-American Union be created in this hemisphere to promote refugee settlement.

The Central Board of the World ORT Union submitted a memorandum through the President’s Advisory Committee on Refugees. The statement declared that the ORT planned to trail at least 10,000 German and other refugees in 1940, at an estimated cost of $1,000,000. The Council of the ORT; George Backer, president of the American ORT Federation, and Dr. Davic Lvovitch, vice-president of the World ORT Union.

The American Jewish Congress submitted a memorandum appealing to the Intergovernmental Committee to enlarge the scope of its work to include refugees from countries other than Germany; requesting a redefinition of the term “refugee”; more realistic cooperation on the part of the governments constituting the Intergovernmental Committee; urging special consideration of Palestine as a land of refuge; and suggesting arrangements for practical cooperation with the Intergovernmental Committee on the part of Jewish agencies, through the formation of a special Jewish body.

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