$130,000,000 Raised by Jewish Welfare Funds Last Year, Survey Shows
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$130,000,000 Raised by Jewish Welfare Funds Last Year, Survey Shows

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Jewish welfare funds raised an estimated $130,000,000 in 1959 for philanthropic purposes, it was reported today by the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. The estimate was projected on the basis of returns from 122 key community campaigns during the past year, and represents a 6.6 percent increase in philanthropic funds over 1958.

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. The actual amount of money given the UJA varies, however, from year to year and is dependent not only on the total amount raised, but on the size of allocations made from each community.

In 1958–the latest year for which complete figures are available–the UJA received nearly $59,400,000, a sum amounting to almost 60 percent of all monies budgeted by welfare funds for all Jewish organizations. Other overseas agencies and local refugee care received more than $3,800,000 in 1958 from welfare funds, and national domestic agencies slightly less than $4,500,000 during the year.

Local services, exclusive of refugee care, received more than $30,000,000 from Jewish welfare funds for operating expenses during 1958. The bulk of these funds was utilized in cities of over 40,000 Jewish population. In addition, non-sectarian Community Chests provided more than $14,000,000 for local Jewish services. Thus, one dollar of every three spent on local Jewish community services came from Community Chests.


The CJFWF survey revealed that in the same year some 70 Jewish agencies received more than $50,000,000 in independent campaigns, notably in New York, for non-local needs outside welfare fund support. The largest portion of this money was contributed to national community relations, health and welfare, cultural and religious organizations. More than 40 percent was utilized for overseas and Israeli aid.

An additional sum of nearly $5,500,000 was contributed in 1958 to restricted independent campaigns for local agencies, generally by agreement with individual federations and welfare funds.

The survey reviews various types of aid to Israel and analyzes the work and financial relationships of key Israel and overseas agencies, supported by welfare funds. It notes four “fundamental” sources of currency supplementing Israel’s own earnings abroad. These include United States Governmental assistance and German reparations, as well as Israel bond sales and the use of philanthropic funds.

American sources, it discloses, provided about $175,000,000–almost 29 percent of Israel’s total foreign currency income–for the fiscal year ending March 30, 1959. Together with German reparation income, these sources accounted for 43 percent of the country’s total foreign currency.

Philanthropic funds continue as an important source of income for Israel, with almost one billion dollars remitted by Jewish organizations during a 13-year period. In 1958, American Jewish philanthropic agencies had an income of $82,000,000 for overseas purposes, including $65,000,000 for use in Israel. Israel bond sales also provided a total of almost $420,000,000 from 1952 to the present. In 1959, worldwide sale of bonds totaled $52,300,000.

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