NEW YORK (Dec. 28)
A call for large emergency funds to be remitted by the United Jewish Appeal for immediate relief measures to transfer the newcomers in Israel from flooded camps and to provide special housing facilities for thousands of their children who are suffering as a result of the torrential rains in the country, was issued here today by Henry Morgenthau Jr., general chairman of the U.J.A.
“The children have been the worst sufferers,” Mr. Morgenthau said. “As one of the emergency measures taken to meet this critical situation, the Jewish Agency has undertaken the organization of a child placement program asking families throughout Israel to provide housing for two months for children who are now living in immigrant camps. This program has just been initiated in the municipality of Nathanya where the school children have been urged to take one immigrant child into their home.
“The children involved in this emergency effort range in age from six to four-teen. In the Beth Lyd immigrant camp there are 3,500 children in this category. The Jewish Agency’s Department of Absorption, which receives its funds from the United Jewish Appeal, has undertaken to pay families the equivalent of the cost of maintaining a child in the camp. Dr. Dov Joseph, Minister of Supply, has arranged to extend extra rations to all families who are taking in camp children temporarily. Throughout the country special meetings are being held to put this plan into operation.
“We are confronted with a situation that may develop into a major catastrophe if we do not act promptly through the United Jewish Appeal to take approximately 90,000 men, women and children out of the immigrant camps. The funds needed to house these people decently and give them a fresh start in their new homeland cannot be delayed without adding new misery to the suffering from which these people fled in other lands.
IMMIGRANT TENTS COLLAPSE; PUBLIC BUILDINGS CONVERTED INTO LIVING QUARTERS
“Tragic suffering of catastrophic proportions has struck the immigrant camps where so many of the newcomers and their families are living without a roof over their head,” Mr. Morgenthau reported. He added that in Shaar Aliyah, the reception camp through which all new immigrants must pass, all tents have collapsed as a result of heavy storms, and the people are being crowded into huts to get some shelter. In view of the inability to transfer the immigrants to other camps during recent weeks, this reception center has become abnormally over-crowded. Eleven hundred new immigrants arrived yesterday, aggravating further the conditions of crowding there.
“At the present time,” he declared, “desperate efforts are being made to shift the families from tents in the immigrant camps into stone and wooden barracks. At Beth Lyd the public buildings including the lecture hall and dining rooms are being converted into living quarters.”