NEW YORK (Dec. 6)
The Joint Distribution Committee has aided this year nearly 220,000 Jews in 25 countries, it was reported here today by Moses A. Leavitt, JDC executive vice-chairman. Of them, more than 100,000 were in four Moslem countries, including Morocco. Nearly 60,000 were in Israel and more than 52,000 in Europe.
Mr. Leavitt, who will be one of the principal speakers at the 46th annual meeting of the Joint Distribution Committee which will take place here on Thursday, estimated that by the end of this year, American Jews will have contributed $16,350,000 to the JDC through the United Jewish Appeal. This represents somewhat less than eight percent of the $28,245,000 appropriated by the JDC for its 1960 operations.
The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany for the fifth year provided a substantial source of income for JDC’s efforts, specifically on behalf of individuals who suffered at the hands of the Nazis, Mr. Leavitt said in his report. The $7,000,000 which the Claims Conference provided during 1960 represented close to 25 percent of JDC’s total budget. These funds, which the Claims Conference receives under its agreement with the German Government, are earmarked for the relief and rehabilitation of Jewish victims of Nazis.
There were also a number of communities outside of the United States which provided financial assistance to JDC programs during the past year. These included Canada, which will have provided $550,000 by the year’s end, and Latin American communities, Mr. Leavitt emphasized. The Central British Fund for Jewish Relief and Rehabilitation cooperated with the JDC by allocating in 1960 about $160,000 for a number of JDC projects.
LEAVITT REPORTS ON JEWS IN CONGO; 15,000 ASSISTED IN POLAND
Mr. Leavitt, who recently returned from a survey of changing conditions in the Congo, Rhodesia, South Africa and other parts of the African continent, reported that he found that most of the estimated 2,250 Jews in the Belgian Congo had escaped during the anti-European rioting which started there at the end of June shortly after the territory became an independent state.
Most of the escaped Jews went either to neighboring African countries or to Europe, with about 50 families going to Israel, the JDC leader said. In South Africa and Rhodesia, local Jewish organizations had provided aid. In Belgium, among those aiding the Congo refugees was the AIVG, a JDC supported Belgian Jewish family agency. “Because the situation in the Congo is still confused, it is difficult to determine the number of Jews who will return, or those who will need emigration or other assistance in the future,” Mr. Leavitt stated.
In Poland, of 30,000 Jews registered or otherwise known to Jewish organizations, some 15,000 received JDC help in 1960, Mr. Leavitt reported. The JDC continued during the year to provide subventions to many aid programs conducted through the Jewish Central Welfare Committee of Poland, including housing and cash grants, feeding school children, support of a home for the Jewish aged in Lodz, loans to cooperatives, medical aid and special help to Jewish orphans.
The JDC also contributed to the budget of religious congregations and to the repair of Jewish cemeteries. More than 3,000 children had vacations in JDC-sponsored summer camps. The JDC has agreed to underwrite the cost of building a new home for the aged in Lodz, with the Central British Fund contributing $28,500.
The JDC leader also reported on aid given to Jewish refugees from Egypt, Hungary, Rumania and North Africa who are now seeking haven in France. A total of 22,200 of such persons have received JDC aid in France in 1960. Other European countries in which Jews received JDC aid included Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Sweden, Yugoslavia, Norway, Portugal and Spain.
JEWS IN NORTH AFRICA REPORTED LIVING IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF INSECURITY
Reporting that the Jews of North Africa “continue to live in an atmosphere of insecurity.” Mr. Leavitt said that though there were no major changes in the political situation in Morocco and Tunisia affecting the Jewish populations, “there was a continuing deterioration in the economic situation” which affected the Jews “perhaps more than any other element.”
Under such conditions, the JDC has continued to help 100,465 men, women and children in North Africa and Iran. In Morocco, there are some 60,500 Jews being helped. They receive food, aid to schools, help for Hebrew and other cultural projects and medical aid. In Casablanca, the local Jewish community has 5,200 persons on relief rolls. Some 5,000 children benefited from JDC-sponsored summer camp programs. In September, 1960, there were still 42 Jewish victims of the Agadir disaster.
The JDC program in Morocco has been hampered by local problems, Mr. Leavitt noted. The program by which families received food parcels was cut drastically by difficulties in getting permits to bring supplies into Morocco, including commodities purchased by the JDC in other countries and United States surplus foods. Consequently only 7,339 persons benefited from this program in the first half of 1960 as compared with 12,104 persons in the same period in 1959.
Jewish communal bodies in Tunisia were able to carry out their work, with JDC help, without interference. Their feeding programs aided 4,505 persons each month, including 4,130 schoolchildren. Others received medical aid and cash relief monthly. More than 5,000 students attended schools and kindergartens and 1,000 took part in Hebrew and other courses. Some 800 children benefited from JDC-sponsored summer vacation programs.
The continued internal stability in Iran made it possible for the JDC to proceed with its massive aid program to 20,000 Jews, about 25 percent of the total Jewish population. The aid included regular meals in school canteens for 5,765 children, and food parcels for 2,000 more. More than 13,000 children attended JDC-helped schools. Medical aid and summer camps also were provided for more than 6,000, Mr. Leavitt reported.
Mr. Leavitt also dealt at great length with the aid given by the JDC to aged persons in Israel through its Malben institutions. In 1960, he reported, the JDC helped 59,685 men, women and children in Israel, including 46,245 who received help from Malben–the JDC-sponsored welfare program for the aged, sick and handicapped.