NEW YORK (Dec. 30)
The United Palestine Appeal has appropriated $175,000 for transportation of 995 Jewish refugees from Wilno, Lithuania, to Palestine via the Far East, Chairman Aloba Hillel Silver announced today at a press conference at the Hotel Commodore at which he outlined the program of the UPA $12,000,000 campaign for 1941.
The refugees, all of whom possess immigration certificates, will travel by way of Moscow, Siberia, Tokyo, the Indian Ocean and Basra. They include 60 children up to 14 years of age and 150 between 14 and 17 whose traveling expenses will be paid by the Youth ###, 150 girls up to 22, 60 young man up to 28, 50 student chalutzim, 75 yeshiva students, 120 rabbis and their families, 100 prominent Zionists, writers and social workers, 80 old persons with relatives in Palestine and 150 others.
The 6,000-mile journey is expected to take a month. The refugees have received transit visas from the Soviet and Japanese governments. They include refugees who fled to Wilno and ### during the German invasion of Poland, among them German Jews who had found temporary house in Poland. Dr. Silver added that there were at least 7,100 others in various parts of Europe in possession of Palestine certificates, lacking only funds for transportation.
Discussing the UPA campaign, Rabbi Silver said the $12,000,000 was necessary towards the Jewish Agency budget of $13,640,000 for 1941 for (1) normal processes of rebuilding, (2) mobilization of resources for the war effort and (3) refugee absorption and alleviation of unemployment caused by war dislocation.
The Jewish Agency is now providing relief for 75,000 persons. The Agency is combating unemployment by (1) public works, including roads, water towers, airfields, schools and workers homes and (2) stimulation of industries, with 31 new industries having been founded in the past year through loans guaranteed by the Agency.
The Agency plans to establish 15 new strategically-necessary settlements in the coming year. In the past year eight were founded. The Zionists have contracted for purchase of 195,000 dunems of land in the coming year. In the past year 44,000 dunems were purchased.
Dr. Silver stressed the necessity of continuing with land purchase and colonization in order to place Palestine Jewry in the best possible position when the ultimate peace conference comes. “To ask the Zionist movement to liquidate itself for the duration of the war is to ask the Zionist movement to surrender its philosophy,” he said.