GENEVA (Oct. 27)
Plans for American Jewish aid to needy Jews in 25 countries were discussed here today at the opening session of a four-day conference of Joint Distribution Committee directors conducting relief work in these countries. Leaders of Jewish communities in these countries are also participating in the deliberations.
In opening the conference, Charles Jordan, head of JDC operations overseas, said that 195,000 Jewish men, women and children received the agency’s aid during this year. He reported that JDC will spend more than $28,000,000 in 1958 for overseas aid and added that the budget for 1959 will be based on the reports presented and discussed at this four-day parley.
Edward M. M. Warburg, JDC chairman, greeted the representatives of the Jewish communities present at the conference and also “those who are not present–the Jews in need in countries and areas where the JDC cannot work, where Jews are deprived of contacts with Jews in other parts of the world.” To these Jews he offered the comfort of the knowledge that “they do not stand alone,” and added: “We look forward to the day when we will be free to serve these Jews, not only to meet their physical needs but also to serve their spiritual and emotional needs.”
Henry Kirsch, director for Morocco, reported that approximately 30 percent of Morocco’s 190,000 Jews were receiving assistance from the JDC. Of the 43,900 receiving supplementary feeding, there are children who are assured of at least one substantial meal a day and, in most instances, of afternoon snacks. It has been found, Mr. Kirsch continued, that many of the children receive this way their only major meal of the day. Thousands of adults in Morocco likewise receive supplementary feeding through the distribution of JDC food parcels. he said.
Maurice Lipian, reporting on the past years JDC program in Iran, listed the following accomplishments: the opening of a new hospital in Teheran designed principally for maternity and child care, though it also offers out-patient service for thoracic diseases and an emergency ward, expansion of a child clothing and feeding program which now covers 7,000 boys and girls; provision of medical aid for 12,000 persons through 22 medical centers, and support of 52 schools with 12,780 pupils.
JDC feeding, welfare, medical, child care and related programs reached 50,000 Jews out of a total Tunisian Jewish population of about 70,000, Lawrence Olnick, director for Tunisia, told the parley. Canteens serve 4,500 persons, mostly schoolchildren, one meal a day, he said, while 17-JDC supported schools provide education for 8,800. Medical service is provided mostly for 5,400 persons, he added.