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J.D.C. Faces Most Serious Situation Since Its Founding, Leavitt Tells Agency Conference

The Joint Distribution Committee is confronted with a cash crisis more serious than any situation the organization has faced since its founding in 1914, Moses A. Leavitt, executive vice-chairman, today told the opening session of the annual J.D.C. field directors conference here.

Mr. Leavitt, who traced the downward trend of contributions to the United Jewish Appeal for the past two years, said that because of this falling off of cash available for Israel and overseas needs the J.D.C.’s program in most areas has already been reduced to “rock bottom.” Any further cuts in the program, he warned, “will spell disaster for tens of thousnads of human beings.”

Mr. Leavitt outlined the agency’s present program as threefold: 1. Transportation and other assistance to refugees; 2. Economic aid to help Jews in various countries become self-supporting; 3. Basic relief assistance to orphans, widows, mothers, “hard-core cases” and others. He added that the conference will have to decide on how to deal with major problems on a reduced budget.

Besides Mr. Leavitt, a number of other American leaders are attending the parley, including Dr. Jonah B. Wise, national chairman of the United Jewish Appeal. Among the country directors from 20 field officers of the J.D.C. who are attending the conference and who will report on the condition of Jews in their areas are J.D.C. representatives in Hungary, Iran, Morocco, Israel and elsewhere.

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