CHICAGO (Feb. 2)
A report recommending joint fund-raising for all major Jewish civic protective agencies in this country, similar to that of the United Jewish Appeal, was approved here last night by the more than 400 delegates gathered at the ninth annual General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds at the Drake Hotel.
The report, prepared by a committee under the chairmanship of Edgar J. Kaufmann, also recommended the joint budgeting of all national programs for civic protective work through the General Jewish Council which is at present composed of the American Jewish Committee, the B’nai B’rith and the Jewish Labor Committee. Other recommendations contained in the report provide for the allocation of functions among defense agencies to be developed by the General Jewish Council and for the enlargement of the General Jewish Council so as to include the Synagogue Council as a constituent body as well as representatives of organized cities.
The acceptance of these proposals by Carl Sherman of the American Jewish Congress; Henry Monsky, president of the B’nai B’rith and Bezalel Sherman of the Jewish Labor Committee was greeted with applause by the delegates. Morris D. Waldman, executive secretary of the American Jewish Committee, stated that his reaction towards the recommendations was favorable but that he could not commit himself until his executive had read the report. The delegates then voted to refer the report to the Board of Directors of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds with the understanding that the Council is to find means to implement the report immediately.
SATURATION POINT IN AMERICAN-JEWISH PHILANTHROPY NOT YET REACHED
At the session devoted to “Fund-Raising Problems of 1942,” presided over by Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, Isidore Sobeloff, executive director of the Jewish Welfare Federation in Detroit, presented the main report, in which he declared that: “The contributor who feels that the patriotic step would be to transfer funds from one campaign to another, to divert his giving rather than increase it, must be reminded that desertion of our special areas of responsibility is a disservice to Democracy. True patriotism in time of crisis cannot mean forgetting duties to family, local community or to Jewish groups, within the community and beyond.”
An earlier report, presented by Maurice B. Hexter, assistant executive vice-president of the New York Federation, asked that local Jewish communities evoke a major effort in thought and money. “This leads inevitably to a scheme of priorities,” Mr. Hexter stated, “and it will be our task to determine whether the following scheme of priorities is correct: Local community, then a minimum program of national Jewish work, then the international scene.”
Dr. James Heller of Cincinnati, Edward Kahn of Atlanta and Edward M. M. Warburg opposed this idea stressing that the saturation point in American Jewish giving had not been reached and there is no need to establish priorities. All Jewish programs are equally important and all deserve complete support, they said.