Philadelphia (Dec. 16)
The 267 communities affiliated with the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds will be called upon to raise more than $215,000,000 for local, national and overseas programs in 1947, with the bulk ear-marked for the $170,000,000 campaign of the United Jewish Appeal, Arnold Gurin of New York, director of budget research for the Council, told 300 delegates assembled here at the Central Atlantic Regional Conference. The delegates represent fifty major communities in New Jersey, Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
The conference which was called to map a program designed to help American Jewish communities meet their responsibilities next year, also heard a report from H.L. Lurie, executive director of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, on the increased contribution to American Jewish life being made by federations, welfare funds and community councils throughout the country. He emphasized that “current American factors are tending to make the Jewish group more homogenous.”
Presided over by Kurt Peiser, executive director of the Philadelphia Federation of Jewish Charities, the conference also heard Samuel H. Daroff, president of the Philadelphia Allied Jewish Appeal, laud the $170,000,000 U.J.A. quota as the best possible news for the 250,000 displaced Jews in the camps in Europe. “Thank God that the sacrifices we shall gladly make can prove so effective in restoring the self-respect and dignity of our fellow-Jews abroad. I have not the slightest doubt that every Jew in America will respond with unprecedented generosity to help attain our goal,” he said.
RACIAL HATRED IN “MARKED EVIDENCE” IN U.S., DELEGATES ARE TOLD
Group hatreds and prejudices, “in flagrant violation of democratic concepts,” are in marked evidence in the United States,” Jules Cohen, coordinator of the National Community Relations Advisory Council, reported. “The projection of civil and religious rights and the building of friendlier group relations,” he said, “must constitute an important part of future world planning.” He urged Jewish communities to assume their share of this responsibility by “initiating and developing effective local community relations programs.” He stressed that such programs must include “the exposure of undemocratic organizations, individuals and incidents. Such action places the organized Jewish community behind every community effort to enact progressive social legislation. It promotes mutual respect and understanding through year-round interfaith and interracial activities.”
U.S. Federal Judge Phillip Forman, who recently returned from Europe where he attended the Paris Peace Conference and the International Conference of Christians and Jews at Oxford, England, reported on the conditions of Europe’s 1,500,000 Jewish survivors. He declared that “only the emphatic insistence upon the part of the United States that these homeless people be permitted to avail themselves of the National Homeland in Palestine in conformity with the true objectives of the Balfour Declaration, their acceptance in reasonable number in the United States and other countries and a continued generous financial contribution to supplement their necessities by the Jews of the United States will stave off their mass extinction.”
Bernard Alexander of Trenton, regions president, reported that during the past year, Jewish communities in the Central Atlantic region raised more than $17,000,000. He was re-elected regional president by the conference. Other officers chosen were: vice-presidents, I.B. Finkelstein of Wilmington, Gus Kaplan of Harrisburg and Israel November of Richmond; treasurer, D.Beryl Manischewitz, Newark.
Leon Retter, general secretary of the Central Committee of Liberated Jews in Germany and Samuel Shlomovitz, chairman of the Jewish refugee committee in the Frankfurt region, were among the speakers. They reported on conditions of life among displaced Jews.