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U.J.A. National Conference Opens; Constituent Agencies Seek $272,455,000 in 1950

The United Jewish Appeal national conference opened here today with the presentation by the three constituent agencies of budgets totalling $272,455,000 for their 1950 needs. Over 1,200 delegates from communities throughout the U.S. are attending the parley.

Of the budgetary total, the sum of $209,559,000 has been earmarked for Israel needs. The Joint Distribution Committee has asked for $44,512,000 for its relief and rehabilitation programs in Europe and North Africa while the United Service for New Americans asked $18,384,000 for receiving and resettling Jewish refugee immigrants to this country.

The keynote of the conference was sounded by U.J.A. general chairman Henry Morgenthau Jr., when he called on the Jews of America to continue and increase their “closer cooperation with the Jews of Israel and other parts of the world.” Mr. Morgenthau added that “it would be one of history’s most colossal blunders for us to regard our responsibilities at an end. We have laid the foundations, we must share in completing the structure.”

William Rosenwald, U.J.A. national chairman who presided at the opening session, told his audience that the “total resettlement and rescue job is by no means ended. To diminish it now would be to jeopardize our past achievements.” Edwin Rosenberg, U.S.N.A. president, said that by the end of the year, 39,000 refugees will have entered the U.S., making this year the peak, year for Jewish immigration to this country since the outbreak of war.

Berl Locker, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive in Jerusalem, declared that the state of Israel looks forward to doubling its present population in five years. He said 1,000,000 Jews in Europe, North Africa and the Near East are desperately in need of emigration to Israel as “the one channel of escape from persecution.” Mr. Locker said the U.J.A. must be in a position to support the absorption of 250,000 Jewish immigrants to Israel in 1950.

Moses A. Leavitt, J.D.C. executive vice-chairman, said his organization’s program for 1950 contemplated resettlement aid for 146,500 Jews, of whom 120,000 will go to Israel, 18,500 to the U.S. and 8,000 elsewhere. The program also provides for medical and other services to 900,000 in Moslem countries.

Harry Greenstein, until a month ago advisor on Jewish affairs to the American occupation authorities in Germany; said that the Jewish DP camps in Germany have been substantially liquidated. He added that this did not, however, lessen the burden on the U.J.A. since the expense of caring for these people while they were in the camps had been borne largely by the International Refugee Organization.

Despite the fact that Mr. Morgenthau announced early this year that he would not be available as general chairman of the drive for 1950, a strong “Draft Morgenthau” movement is under way here. In his keynote address, Mr. Morgenthau reported that in the ten years that the U.J.A. has existed it has raised $620,000,000, of which $485,000,000 was collected from 1946 to 1949.

The conference opened with a memorial service for the 27 Jewish children who perished in the wreck of an Oslo-bound plane last week.

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