St. Paul Community Leader Explains “sanctions” Voted by Council

Pledges to the United Jewish Fund and Council here, which allocates its receipts from fund-raising drives to 60 local, national and overseas agencies, “have declined in an unbroken line” since 1948, according to a statement issued here by Leonard Heller, president of UJFC. That is the reason, Mr. Heller declared, the UJFC board has voted to impose “sanctions” on members of the Jewish community here who have not supported the agencies adequately.

Mr. Heller issued his statement in explanation of the “sanctions” vote by the board, which has aroused considerable interest and discussion among community leaders here and in other cities around the country during the last two weeks. The “sanctions” originally called for board members and officers of agencies to forfeit their posts unless they were deemed to have contributed generously enough.

The main concern of the UJFC board, said Mr. Heller, must be first of all the raising of this year’s quota of $400, 000. “Since 1948,” he stated, “our pledge funds have declined in an unbroken line from $940,000 to the anticipated figure for 1954 of $350,000. We can only expect that 1955 will be even lower unless something can be done to reverse this trend. We are conscious of the fact that St. Paul results are proportionately lower than Minneapolis as well as other communities elsewhere in the country in the same population category.

“It was almost unbelievable to many of us that in some cases members on the board of the United Jewish Fund and Council or on boards and committees of beneficiary organizations, had made no pledge at all or one so apparently inadequate that, in the absence of some demonstrable reason, the committee could only conclude that such persons were actually unsympathetic to the purposes of the Fund itself or to the organization on which they served, ” he said.

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