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United Jewish Appeal Renewed in Response to U.S. Jews’ ‘overwhelming Desire’

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The United Jewish Appeal for Refugees and Overseas Needs, which was dissolved last December, has been reconstituted as the 1941 fund-raising instrument of the three major Jewish relief agencies, it was announced today.

An agreement to renew the united appeal was signed last night at a meeting of officials of the Joint Distribution committee and United Palestine Appeal, held at the United Jewish Appeal offices, which culminated several weeks of negotiations. The agreement terminates independent campaigns which had been initiated by the JDC. UPA and National Refugee Service.

A statement issued today stressed that the action was taken in response to “the overwhelming desire of American Jewry to establish a union of forces in this critical period.” It declared that “the officers of these three organizations recognize that the need for funds is so pressing and the amounts required so great that unity in raising funds is essential.”

Reconstitution of the united appeal was hailed by Sidney Hollander, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, who said in a letter to member agencies: “Now that the handicap of competition and conflict need no longer be feared local energies can be devoted wholeheartedly to achieving maximum results in this year’s welfare fund campaigns. With a reconstituted UJA, welfare funds have both the responsibility and the opportunity to demonstrate their capacity to meet unquestioned needs.”

Hollander also pointed out that renewal of the united appeal would remove a “befogging issue” from the referendum of welfare funds on a national advisory budgeting service. The ballot in the referendum is divided into two proposals–the first for establishment of the budget service and the second for establishment of a special commission to formulate advisory recommendations on the needs of the JDC, UPA and NRS. The second point “is not of such immediate consequence” as a result of the new development, Hollander pointed out.

Hollander paid tribute to the “outstanding contribution” of Jacob Blaustein of Baltimore in the final successful phases of the reopened negotiations, “stimulated by the unanimity of sentiment expressed by the delegates at the Atlanta assembly” of the Council.

The negotiations were conducted by Chairman Edward M.M. Warburg and Vice-Chairman Harold F. Linder and Solomon Lowenstein for the JDC and by Chairman Abba Hillel Silver and Co-Chairmen Stephen S. Wise and Morris Rothenberg for the UPA. Also present at the meeting at which the agreement was signed were Honorary Chairman Paul Beerwald, Fund-Raising Chairman Frederick F. Greenman and Fund-Raising Director Isidor Coons of the JDC and Executive Director Henry Montor of the UPA.

The UJA statement said the united appeal would “ask the Jews of the United States to provide funds for the programs of the JDC, UPA and NRS to meet the problems of the Jews who are victims of persecution abroad, to assist in the upbuilding of Palestine and for the program of immigrants coming to the United States within the quota limitations.” The initial statement did not announce what system of allocations had been agreed upon or what the total goal would be.

Decision not to renew the UJA, which had raised a total of $30,500,000 in 1939 and 1940, had been announced on Dec. 26. Subsequently the three agencies announced separate drives and set up campaign offices. Several weeks ago, however, negotiations were reopened which resulted in the new agreement.

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