NEW YORK (Dec. 15)
An outline of the program and responsibilities of the United HIAS Service–the recently consolidated international Jewish migration which replaces HIAS, United Service for New Americans and the migration services of the Joint Distribution Committee–was given here tonight by Ben Touster, first president of the new organization.
Mr. Touster spoke at the inaugural dinner of the United HIAS Service, at which the 1955 campaign for $3,500,000 was launched by the organization to carry on its global migration and resettlement program. More than 400 leaders in Jewish communal life attended the dinner which was held at the Hotel Biltmore.
Abner Bregman, chairman of the dinner, announced that as a result of tonight’s gathering, the organization can expect a quarter of a million dollars in initial gifts with which to launch its campaign. United HIAS Service will not be a beneficiary in 1955 of the United Jewish Appeal, but will collect funds independently from its own membership, auxiliaries, branches, Jewish federations and welfare funds, and from individuals residing in areas where no organized welfare funds exist.
Mr. Touster, in reviewing the considerations which prompted the creation of United HIAS Service, through the merging of USNA, HIAS and the migration services of JDC, said that “the United HIAS Service emerges as the historical success or of those who have separately gone before, combining in one great effort and in one great instrument the hopes, the aspirations, and the struggles for our people’s survival.”
TOUSTER STRESSES FORMATION OF UNITED AUTHORITY ON JEWISH MIGRATION
Pointing out that “at long last, American Jewry can now speak with a single voice, and act with one united authority, on all matters involving the migratory and the homeless,” Mr. Touster declared: “All that has gone before has been, in a sense–despite the magnificent record of performance–only a prelude and preparation for this present hour, when one combined agency would arise as a tower of strength for all who still suffer and despair.
“This unprecedented, history-making union is, by the way, especially noteworthy because it sets an inspiring example of mutal compromise and concession. It furnishes proof positive of the ability of American leaders in Jewry voluntarily to put aside all considerations of personal prestige, of institutional rivalry, and surrender position and power for the sake of community.
“Overlapping of jurisdiction, duplication of function, multiplication of staff and repetition of expenditure–all these were inevitable outgrowths of the years of in tense service and vigorous application. All these have been swept away in our new grand plan of singleness in purpose, structure and action. This modesty, this willingness to yield ground, this absence of private ambition is by no means the smallest aspect of our negotiations–and it will serve, I am sure, as a provocative guide and example to other institutions and other communal leaders in the years to come.”
U.S. Senator Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota, addressing the audience, called for the repeal of the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act. The appeal for financial support for the agency was made by Rabbi Simon G. Kramer, of the Hebrew Institute of University Heights.