Community Bodies Raised $120, 000, 000 for Jewish Philanthropies in 1958
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Community Bodies Raised $120, 000, 000 for Jewish Philanthropies in 1958

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Central Jewish community organizations in America raised an estimated $120, 000, 000 for philanthropic purposes in 1958, according to a study released today by the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. The total represents a ten percent increase in philanthropic revenue over the statistical base year of 1955.

The survey, prepared by S.P. Goldberg, director of the Council’s budget research department, was projected on the basis of returns from 110 key community campaigns conducted during the past year.

The report noted that central Jewish community organizations had raised more than $1, 780, 000, 000 in the 13-year postwar period from 1946 through 1958, the funds coming from more than 1, 000, 000 American contributors.

The largest single beneficiary of Jewish welfare fund campaigns is the United Jewish Appeal, which annually derives more than 90 percent of its income from federated community campaigns. In 1957–the latest year on which complete figures are available–the UJA received nearly $76, 000, 000, a sum amounting to almost 65 percent of all moneys budgeted by welfare funds for all Jewish philanthropies. This was the highest percentage allocation for UJA use in recent years. Other overseas agencies and local refugee care received more than $4, 300, 000 in 1957 from welfare funds, National domestic agencies received slightly less than $4,700, 000 during the year.


Local services, exclusive of refugee care, received more than $30, 000, 000 from Jewish welfare funds for operating expenses during 1957. The bulk of these funds was utilized in cities of over 40, 000 Jewish population. The survey also revealed that in the same year, some 70 Jewish agencies raised more than $46, 500, 000 in independent campaigns, notably in New York for non-local needs outside the welfare fund aegis. The largest portion of this money was contributed to national community relations, health and welfare, cultural and religious organizations. An additional sum of nearly $5, 000,000 was contributed in 1957 to restricted independent campaigns for local agencies, generally by agreement with individual federations and welfare funds.

American sources provided about $160, 000, 000–or almost 30 percent of Israel’s total foreign currency income–for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1958, the survey noted. Together with German reparation income, these sources provided 46 percent of the country’s total foreign currency.

Philanthropic funds continued as an important source of income for Israel, with almost one billion dollars remitted by Jewish organizations during a 12-year period. Israel Bond sales also provided a total of $366, 500, 000 from 1952 to the present. In 1958, world-wide sales of bonds were $46,500,000.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund