NEW YORK (Jun. 21)
The 1959 United Jewish Appeal today reached a mid-year standing of $38,150,000 in cash against pledges, as several millions of dollars in cash funds were brought forward here by representatives of local campaigns across the country.
This was announced by Melvin Dubinsky, UJA National Cash Chairman, at the conclusion of the UJA’s two-day mid-year national conference, in which more than 600 Jewish community leaders from all parts of the country participated. Mr. Dubinsky headed a sixty-day, nationwide effort by local campaign affiliates to convert a maximum amount of 1959 pledges into cash by conference time. The effort will continue during the rest of the year.
The two-day conference, during which progress of the campaign was assessed by the delegates and future plans outlined, inaugurated the second half of the U. J. A.’s nationwide drive, which is under the general chairmanship of Morris W. Berinstein. Delegates to the conference adopted a resolution calling upon the local community affiliates of the United Jewish Appeal to provide a total of $75,000,000 in cash funds against pledges to this year’s effort by the end of 1959. In their resolution the delegates declared:
“It is most gratifying that the communities of the country have come forward with $38,150,000 at this mid-year point in the 1959 campaign. While this sum represents one of the greatest amounts of cash raised and delivered in the first six months of any UJA campaign of recent years, it is only half of what is required in view of the vast needs which continue to exist for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have come to Israel in recent years, tens of thousands of Jews in need in twenty-four countries of Europe and Moslem lands, and thousands of refugees to the United States.”
The assembled UJA leaders heard Dr. Buell G. Gallagher, president of the College of the City of New York, speak on World Refugee Year, which begins July 1, and upon the conclusion of his talk, voted to adopt a resolution declaring their unanimous support of the “aims and objectives” of the year-long international effort to solve outstanding refugee problems.
Dr. Gallagher said that the world could take an example “from the magnificent rescue work of Jewish bodies, which have provided many avenues of rescue and thus saved the lives of countless numbers more of refugees, Jew and non-Jew alike.” He lauded the achievements of the United Jewish Appeal, declaring that in its 21 years of existence it had made it possible for “1,300,000 human beings to find new life and freedom in Israel, the United States and other lands of freedom.” He noted that approximately 1,000,000 of these had been resettled in Israel — while 300,000 were settled in this country and other free communities.
600,000 PERSONS AIDED BY U. J. A. FUNDS IN FIRST HALF OF 1959
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice William O, Douglas told the assembled 600 Jewish community leaders that both the United States and the countries of Asia “need” the democracy of Israel as “a great bastion of freedom and justice along the Mediterranean.” He urged both the United States Government and the governments of Asia to “sustain Israel.”
At the same time the conference heard Yaacov Herzog, Israel’s Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States, declare that after eleven years of statehood, Israel is able to face up to its problems with a confidence born of experience and proven capacity. “Israel has moved from a sense of survival to one of durability, even though her problems are by no means solved,” he said, adding that “there is more contemplation of the realities of statehood, more long-term planning, more study given to the character of nationhood and to Israel’s place on the Middle Eastern scene.”
Morris W. Berinstein, general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, reported that funds raised by the UJA had assisted more than 600,000 men, women, and children in the first six months of 1959. These, Mr, Berinstein, said, included previous immigrants and recent newcomers to Israel, distressed Jews in twenty-four overseas lands and refugees to the United States, all aided by UJA’s beneficiary bodies, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Joint Distribution Committee, the New York Association for New Americans and the United Hias Service.
“American Jews” Mr. Berinstein told the conference, “are far from the point where they have finished all the great humanitarian tasks of Jewish relief and reconstruction that faced them overseas fifteen years ago this Spring when World War II ended, and Hitler was defeated.” He cited the transfer since January of 5,000 immigrant families in Israel from substandard shanty-town dwellings to permanent, modest but durable, new housing as an example of the still vital work which American Jews must still make possible through UJA. “Some 85,000 immigrants still wait in the ‘ma’abarcth for the day when they too can have decent housing,” he stressed.