Menu JTA Search

Warburg Stresses Increased Responsibilities to Help Jewish Migration

The increased responsibilities which the Jews in the United States and Jewish communities in other free countries are facing now in connection with aiding Jews to emigrate from lands which they want to leave were stressed here today by Edward M. M. Warburg, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee.

In a message sent from New York to the more than 200 Jewish leaders from 26 countries assembled here at the 16th annual overseas conference of the JDC, Mr. Warburg emphasized that world events are now presenting the Jewish communities in free countries with “enormous problems with which all of us must deal today.” His message was read at the conference by Moses A. Leavitt, JDC executive vice-chairman.

Expressing regret that unavoidable obligations in the United States have made it impossible for him to attend the conference this year, Mr. Warburg stated: “I have attended nearly all of these conferences since the end of World War II, and invariably I have found them a source of gratification and inspiration. This would be reason enough for me to regret my absence this year; but I am all the more regretful because of the challenge which world events now present to us.

“Many of you come to these sessions with problems and burdens and responsibilities far greater and more difficult than those of the last several years,” Mr. Warburg continued. “These burdens have been thrust upon you without choice, as crises have always come to pass, and will continue to occur, so long as there are Jewish communities which can do little to determine their own fate. In many respects the events of this year are a recurrence of the events of the years immediately following World War II.”

SAYS SUCH RESPONSIBILITIES ARE AN OBLIGATION FOR ALL JEWS

Emphasizing the urgent need to help as many Jews as possible to emigrate to Israel and other countries, Mr. Warburg said: “This is not a matter of choice for us–it is an obligation. It is a part of the commitment which we inherited when we were born Jews. It is a part of our affirmation of faith–we are our brothers’ keepers.

“I see this not only as an obligation, but as an opportunity,” he declared, “In our history there were opportunities which we missed, and for which we later castigated ourselves, And there were opportunities which we seized, and which brought us exultation and joy. How much we have learned of the lessons of history, these coming days and months will show. It is this credo, this understanding which you must bring back to your communities, as we are bringing it to the Jewish community of the United States.”

Astore Mayar, of Milan, chairman of the Assembly of Jewish Community Services, which is meeting jointly with the JDC conference, outlined the accomplishments of the past year toward the goals which the Assembly had set for itself. These are: The strengthening of the welfare, educational and social structure of the Jews in Western Europe; the creation of a commission on personnel which would devote itself to training and procurement of personnel to staff schools, synagogues and community centers being set up in Europe with the aid of the JDC and the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany; and creation of a commission for Jewish community centers and vocational camps to plan and supervise recreational and cultural programs for youth in European countries.

NEXT STORY