United Jewish Appeal Reports on Three Years of Relief and Reconstruction Work

The United Jewish Appeal announced today that in the three years since the outbreak of World War II on September 1, 1939, American Jews provided for overseas relief assistance to nearly 1,000,000 persons each year in allied and neutral countries through the Joint Distribution Committee, supported the mobilization of the 584,000 Jews of Palestine for the defense of democracy in the critical Middle Eastern war theatre through the United Palestine Appeal, and financed the retraining and adjustment of refugees in the United States to enable them to aid the nation’s war effort through the National Refugee Service.

The report of the relief and reconstruction work of the Joint Distribution Committee, United Palestine Appeal and National Refugee Service, which was made public by William Rosenwald, Dr. Abba Hillel Silver and Dr. Jonah B. Wise, National Chairmen of the United Jewish Appeal, points out that the far-flung programs of the UJA agencies included the following:

1) The Joint Distribution Committee made provision for the emigration of 93,000 refugees from Europe to havens in North and South America and Palestine; Transportation was financed by the JDC under licenses issued by the U.S. Treasury Dept.; Medical aid was provided by the JDC for 600,000 Polish-Jewish refugees in desperate circumstances in Asiatic Russia; Relief was given to 60,000 refugee Jews in unoccupied France under increasingly difficult conditions; Assistance was rendered for the integration of refugees in 18 Latin American countries where 123,000 are now settled; and general aid was given to persons in need in Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, North Africa and other neutral countries.

2) The United Palestine Appeal made possible the immigration of more than 30,000 homeless Jews to Palestine; the establishment of 20 new agricultural colonies in the Jewish homeland to provide for the newcomers, the founding of 400 new factories to promote Palestine’s war production program; the purchase of 165,000 dunams of land to increase production of food for the armies in the Middle East; the recruiting of Jewish soldiers for the British Army, 16,000 of whom are already serving in the army and some 31,000 in the Home Guard and similar auxiliary services.

3) The National Refugee Service extended financial assistance to 31,800 who were in dire need; arranged for 17,000 job placements; resettled 10,200 newcomers in inland communities away from ports of entry or war-restricted areas; provided retraining for 1,900 persons and loans to 4,000 to enable them to become self-sustaining in small business enterprises and arranged 5,450 placements in behalf of musicians, rabbis and physicians.

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