New York (Apr. 20)
The Joint Distribution Committee, in a statement issued here today, announced that it is prepared at any time to renew the United Jewish Appeal for 1945, and disclosed that it has offered four alternative proposals as a basis for reconstitution of the UJA. The statement, which was issued by Joseph C, Hyman, JDC executive vice-chairman, reads as follows:
“On Tuesday, April 17th, a special committee representing the Inter-City Welfare Fund Committee to try to reconstitute the United Jewish Appeal, met with representatives of the JDC and separately with the representatives of the UPA, in Order to facilitate the reconstitution of the United Jewish Appeal. The representatives of the JDC made four, alternative, specific proposals, We are officially advised that when these proposals of the JDC, made to the Reconstitution Committee of the Inter-City Welfare Fund group, were about to be presented to the United Palestine Appeal for consideration, the representatives of that organization refused to permit these proposals to be submitted in detail to them, but stated that they were interested only in whether the JDC accepted or rejected their proposal.
“The JDC has felt all along that the negotiations conducted since last November, have been carried on by both sides with seriousness and with an honest conviction that each party was representing the fundamental interest of Jewry both here and abroad. it is the firm belief of the JDC that no advantage is served by further attempts by one party to place blame upon the other for the failure of any of the negotiations. That question has nothing whatsoever to do with the essential, crucial problems that confront the communities and the various allocation committees. These are how to raise the maximum sum of money for all of the causes; to determine what moneys are needed now for the immediate rescue, relief and rehabilitation of the surviving Jews in war-torn Europe; and what sums are needed now for the upbuilding of Palestine.
“However, since publicity has been given to the UPA proposal for full arbitration’ at the meeting held on Tuesday with the Inter-City Welfare Fund group, the JDC finds it necessary to inform the Jewish communities of its actual present offers for the immediate reconstitution of the United Jewish Appeal.
OFFERED TO ARBITRATE ALL OUTSTANDING PROBLEMS
“The JDC has consistently offered to arbitrate the problems that remained outstanding and unresolved between the JDC and the UPA. In doing so, however, it insisted that there be taken into account the whole history of the negotiations, the agreements tentatively reached, and the action taken by various important Jewish bodies which had a definite bearing on the problem. That is what has been meant at all times by the JDC by its willingness to arbitrate the ‘unresolved issues’.
“The proposals of the JDC, to which no reference is made in the statement of the United Palestine Appeal, were based on the proposition that the differences between the two agencies had in effect been both mediated and arbitrated; first mediated in Cincinnati and then arbitrated before the Allocations Committee of the New York United Jewish Appeal for that community. On the basis of the entire record of negotiations, mediation and arbitration, and against the background of all that had taken place since last Fall, the JDC now, in discussing these matters with Messrs. Fred Butzel, Louis Caplan and Irwin Spiegel of the Inter-City Welfare Fund group, Stated that it was ready to accept any one of four fermalae. The acceptance of any of these would mean an immediate settlement of the long debated issues, instead of the inevitable delays, involvements and complications inherent in the UPA proposal. These were the four alternative offers made by the JDC.
“1. To reconstitute the 1945 United Jewish Appeal on exactly the same terms as the 1944 agreement, despite the obviously greater and more cruel need in Europe in 1945.
“2. To accept the recommendations of the Committee on Mediation appointed by the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds Board of Directors in Cincinati, on February 11th, 1945. These were: (a) The first division of funds to be on seventeen and a half million dollars in the ratio of 60% to the JDC and 40% to the UPA; thereafter, all sums to be subject to the action of the UJA Allotment committee; (b). The ceiling for the Jewish National Fund traditional collections to be $1,000,000. (The JDC voluntarily agreed to raise this sum to $1,100,000.) (c). The JDC to forego the special countervailing amount of $600,000.
“3. To extend to the whole country and pro-rate on a national seale a formula equivalent to the findings of the Allocations Committee of the Greater New York United Jewish Appeal, viz., 57% to be turned over to the JDC and 43% to the UPA; a roof of $300,000 to be placed over Jewish National Fund collections in that area; and the JDC to have the right to receive $275,000 in earmarked contributions from Landsmans- chaften.
“4. To accept the offer made by UPA representatives themselves, Dr. James G. Heller, Messrs. Rudolf G. Sonneborn and Henry Montor on various occasions, to divide the first $25,000,000 raised in the UJA on the basis of 58% to the JDC and 42% to the UPA, with the JDC giving up the $600,000 which it had received as an offset sum in view of the traditonal collections of the Jewish National Fund. These are to be treated in all other respects as provided for in the 1944 Agreement.
“The JDC offered these proposals to the Reconstitution Committee in an endeavor to reach an immediate settlement and reorganization of the UJA without further delay in long drawn-out arbitration preceedings. This we believed would meet the strongly expressed wishes of the Jewish communities of this country.
“In view of these offers on the part of the JDC and in view of the statement issued by the UPA that the American Jewish community understands that the UPA permitted nothing to stand in the way of the UJA the JDC announces that it is prepared at anytime to renew the United Jewish Appeal for 1945 upon the basis of any one of the foregoing proposals.”
Mr. Hyman also stated that the JDC had agreed whole-heartedly to put at the disposal of the fact-finding committee of the Inter-City Welfare Fund group, all records, date and material of the JDC that might be requested by that Committee, which has been set up to determine the facts and needs of the various overseas agencies. A preliminary meeting has already been held with the fact-finding committee to work out the most offective procedures.