NEW YORK (Feb. 3)
The Joint Distribution Committee today inaugurated its 1941 fund-raising campaign, announcing a quota of $11,250,000. Chairman Paul Baerwald said in a message to Jewish community leaders that the relatively low figure was set because the JDC recognized the Jewish communities were faced with many demands on their generosity, although JDC needs for the first six months of this year alone totalled $12,600,000.
Barwald’s message follows, in part: “It cannot be too strongly emphasized that the problem is not merely one of relief, important as that is. A disaster of such proportions as has overtaken the Jews of Europe cannot be confined to a country or a continent. Its effects ignore national boundaries, natural barriers and even oceans. They are felt around the world. It is simple logic to say that the well-being of every Jew on earth, not excepting the Jews of America, is bound up with the fate of European Jewry. If they are allowed to perish, we will be the weaker. They must be strengthened and preserved for the day when they will once again be free to rebuild their lives in security…
“The Jews of Europe must be helped. Not every individual can be sheltered or rescued from the horror that reigns on the Continent, but the great mass of the people can be enabled to survive until a better day. Most vital, their will to live and spirit of hope can be maintained. This is the task which the Jews of America have recognized as confronting their accredited overseas relief agency, the J.D.C.
“All that is necessary is an adequate supply of funds with which to continue the work of relief, reconstruction and emigration in fifty countries of Europe, the Near and Far East and Latin America. The J.D.C. is not establishing an annual budget for 1941. We have before us requirements for the first six months of the year only, totalling $12,600,000. These represent actual emergency needs for feeding, clothing, sheltering, medical aid, child care and emigration. They do not include funds for long-range settlement programs or capital investments.
“All of this money can be spent by the J.D.C. within six months in complete conformity with U.S. Government regulations and American public opinion, without assisting the economy of the totalitarian countries or violating the British blockade. Unless there is a radical, fundamental change in Europe, we may reasonably anticipate that requirements for the last six months of 1941 will be at least equal to $12,600,000.
“However, the J.D.C. has had long years of experience in fund-raising through organized Jewish communities. It recognizes that $25,000,000 is not realizable in the light of the many other obligations, domestic and foreign, that Jewish communities face. The J.D.C. is therefore adopting the attitude that communities can and should allot to the J.D.C. sums which are in line with their past giving history and their fair share of responsibility in the present crisis. Quotas are being requested from communities aggregating $11,250,000. This sum represents a realistic approach to the problem from the point of view of giving potentialities and at the same time is on a par with the rate of expenditure of the J.D.C. during the early months of the war, which aggregated $1,000,000 a month.
“In accordance with its established policy, the J.D.C. relies entirely on the Jewish communities of America for its resources. It has no other source of revenue, no parallel or auxiliary agencies raising funds to relieve it of any part of its burdens. The J.D.C. will make its appeals through welfare funds and local campaigns.”