Half of Jewish Contributions to Relief Funds Come from 800 People, Survey Indicates

Approximately $40,000,000 was raised for overseas needs, Palestine, and the adjustment of refugees in this country during the past three years by the United Jewish Appeal, according to an estimate in the “Report to American Jews,” a survey prepared by Eli Ginzberg for the UJA and published by Harper & Bros. publishing house today.

The survey indicates that contributions of $1,000 or more account for approximately fifty percent of total contributions to Jewish charity and welfare work in America and that 800 people contribute this fifty percent.

“In the year 1940-41 about 40,000 Jewish families had a combined income of $1,000,000,000,” the report states. “The 10,000 wealthiest had an income of $500,000,000. After all deductions, but before the payment of federal income taxes, there were probably 400 Jews in New York City alone who had incomes of $100,000 or more.” The author presents these figures to prove that people in the middle and lower income groups are not contributing in any large number, but neither are all the wealthy.

The survey establishes that from 1934, after Hitler came to power, until 1940 the Joint Distribution Committee expended more than $20,000,000. From its formation in 1914 to the end of the calendar year 1939, the J.D.C. spent about $100,000,000. The financial position of the Palestine funds is reviewed in the survey at great length and the recommendation is made that until peace comes, Palestine should receive contributions from abroad in sufficient amounts to support the present rate of development.

Estimating that during the year 1941 the National Refugee Service spent on an average of $255,000 monthly in providing various services, the survey praises the N.R.S. for making “a major contribution to maintaining an atmosphere conducive to a slow but steady immigration” and for speeding the assimilation of the refugees from Europe who came to this country.

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