100,000 Jews Emigrated from Their Countries in 1957, J.D.C. Reports
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100,000 Jews Emigrated from Their Countries in 1957, J.D.C. Reports

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There were more than 100,000 Jewish migrants during 1957–from Hungary, Egypt, Poland, North Africa and elsewhere–and 25,000 of them in European countries will still be in need of aid from the Joint Distribution Committee during 1958, Moses A. Leavitt, JDC executive vice chairman emphasizes in a report prepared for the 43rd annual meeting of the Joint Distribution Committee which takes place here tomorrow.

“More than a half of the 100,000 Jewish migrants were at one time or another the direct concern of the JDC, which had to feed them, clothe, shelter and provide medical care and comfort,” Mr. Leavitt reveals. At the same time the JDC maintained in 1957 a regular program of assistance to about 180,000 others in some 25 countries of the world.

Mr. Leavitt reported that up to October 31, 1957 Israel had admitted nearly 13,500 Egyptian refugees; Latin American countries absorbed 2,050 during the first nine months of the year. “It is hoped that the United States will admit Jewish refugees from Egypt under laws recently adopted,” he added. At the present time there are still some 5,000 refugees in France, 1,100 in The Netherlands and smaller numbers in Greece and Italy.

In France the government supports most of the stateless refugees from Egypt. Holders of foreign passports, however, received assistance from JDC-financed French Jewish agencies, which were providing cash relief to 1,400 persons as late as August. To meet the most difficult problem, that of housing, JDC contributed 15,000,000 francs to a housing fund, with the French Government and the UN contributing like sums.


Reporting on the emigration of Jews from Poland, Mr. Leavitt said that until early March, 1957, Polish Jews repatriated from the Soviet Union were able to leave Poland and it is estimated that some 4,000 of them left for Israel. “Since the Polish-Russian repatriation agreement does not expire until the end of 1958, thousands more are expected to return,” he stressed. “The Jewish repatriates,” he added, “are being settled by the Polish Government in small localities, chiefly in Lower Silesia, but experience great difficulty in adjusting themselves to the new conditions. Housing assigned to them is inadequate; most are unemployed; their children–who do not speak Polish–need special preparation to enter Polish schools.”

Including repatriates, the Jewish population in Poland is estimated at 40,000 to 50,000, the JDC leader said. He reported that the main Jewish organizations in Poland are the Cultural-Social Association, supported by the Government, and the Union of Religious Congregations, representing 23 local religious communities. In mid-October 1957, a Jewish Aid Committee was established, with representatives of these two organizations and of repatriated Jews, in order to direct JDC assistance where it is most needed. The plans drafted by the Aid Committee–and already under way–include the establishment of kindergartens, the feeding of school children, the distribution of medical supplies and the support of a home for the aged in Lodz.

In Israel, JDC aided more than 34,120 persons, with a little fewer than half of them beneficiaries of Malben, the JDC welfare program there, Mr. Leavitt reported. The increased immigration into Israel which resulted from the new waves of refugees was reflected in Malben’s caseload. In the first nine months of the year 547 newcomers from Poland, Egypt and Hungary received direct aid from Malben. However, the numbers of new refugees represented a small part of the total Malben caseload. As of the end of September, Malben employed 2,016 persons, including 106 physicians, 471 nurses and nurses’ aides and 32 social workers. Malben training courses for nurses were attended by 180 persons per month.


Mr. Leavitt also reported in detail on the aid given by the Joint Distribution Committee during 1957 to needy Jews in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Greece Germany, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Iran and other countries.

JDC continued, as in previous years, to provide assistance to refugees in widely scattered parts of the world, including Australia, China, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Philippines, Brazil and Uruguay. In all, this group numbered 2,610, the largest number of them in Australia, where 1,900 Jewish refugees from Hungary arrived during the first eight months of 1957. In that country, local JDC-supported Jewish organizations helped 460 persons monthly.

In China, the JDC-supported Council of the Jewish Community of Shanghai provides cash relief for 120 a month, medical aid for 50 persons and maintains a small home for the aged. The total number of Jews registered with all Jewish communities in China amounted to 397 persons as of June 30, Mr. Leavitt reported.


Charles H. Jordan, director general of the JDC for overseas operations, said in his report to the annual meeting that” in all the world there are some 200,000 Jews so greatly in need that they must have the aid of the Joint Distribution Committee in 1958.” He reviewed the JDC requirements for the coming year and predicted that in addition to 10,000

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