C.J.F.W.F. Assembly Reviews Jewish Needs in This Country and Overseas
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C.J.F.W.F. Assembly Reviews Jewish Needs in This Country and Overseas

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Jewish needs in this country and abroad were reviewed here today by leading personalities at the General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds which opened formally this morning at the Sheraton Hotel. The Assembly, attended by more than 1, 000 leaders of Jewish communities from the United States and Canada, representing 5, 000, 000 Jews, will be in session for four days.

Dr. Eli Ginzberg, chairman of the National Manpower Advisory Committee, in addressing the opening session which was presided over by Irving Kane, CJFWF president, told the delegates that automation is likely to affect employment in this country. “What is needed if there are to be enough Jobs,” he went on, “is a rigid expansion in such fields as urban renewal, education, health, recreation and cultural activities. This requires a new partnership between government, non-profit, and private sectors.”

In the absence of full employment, Dr. Ginzberg saw a great multiplication of health and welfare problems. “Many people with physical, mental or emotional handicaps are able to keep going if they have a Job and to support themselves and their dependents, ” he pointed out. “But, if they are unemployed, they deteriorate rapidly and their families become disorganized. A society which operates close to full employment escapes many serious problems.”


Joseph Meyerhoff, general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, told the delegates, that “an intensifying refugee emergency in France and a continuing heavy immigration crisis in Israel” will bring a recommendation at the UJA’s annual national conference in December for the launching of a multi-million dollar Special Fund to supplement the Appeal’s regular 1963 campaign. He disclosed the UJA decision to ask for a Special Fund in presiding as chairman at the evening session devoted to “Overseas Jewish Needs in 1963.”

“The United Jewish Appeal,” Mr. Meyerhoff declared, “must ask that the American Jewish community give top philanthropic priority to the needs of Israel’s immigrants and to Jews overseas.” His reference to new refugee and immigration emergencies in France and Israel, respectively was borne out in detailed reports delivered by two speakers representing the agencies that are the chief beneficiaries of the annual UJA campaigns.

Charles Jordan, Overseas director-general of the Joint Distribution Committee, told the session that 180, 000 Jewish refugees have poured into France over the past six years starting with the revolt in Hungary in the fall of 1956 and culminating this summer with the events leading up to Algeria’s independence. He noted that 100,000 Jews entered France this year alone, the greatest number arriving just before the proclamation of Algeria’s independence on July 1.

He characterized this influx of refugees as “of tidal-wave proportions,” asserting that “as a result of this mass migration, the Jewish population of France has risen by over 60 per cent from less than 300, 000 in 1956 to over 500, 000 at the present time.” He pointed out that “this sharp rise has made the French Jewish Community the fourth largest in the world today.”


Mr. Jordan listed employment, housing, education of children and care of the aged as among the chief problems facing the Joint Distribution Committee, the Fonds Social Juif Unifie–the central French Jewish welfare organization–and the French Government. He reported that while the French Government and the French Jewish Community have been providing major assistance, the Joint distribution Committee feels it necessary to offer large additional aid to accelerate the integration of the refugees and the dissolution of the problem.

He stressed that the JDC’s expenditures in France usurped major parts of its 1962 operating budget which was based on Jewish need spread over 27 countries. He warned that Jews in the other countries, Israel included–where the JDC conducts 50 percent of its work in carrying for aged and inform immigrants — would be sharply affected if increased funds did not become available from American Jews in 1963.


Isador Lubin, consultant to the United Israel Appeal – Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc., told the CJFWF delegates that Israel’s continuing high rate of immigration is complicated not only by the general low state of health of its newcomers but by “uncertainties” as to where points of migration may develop and what modes of transportation will be required in these emergencies.

“There is no way of checking the health status of these immigrants prior to their departure” Mr. Lubin declared, “and no possibility of keeping them in transit centers long enough to assure adequate medical treatment. As a result, the Jewish Agency operates not only under the handicap of never knowing in advance how many immigrants will arrive in any given month but also has no way of predicting the extent of the health problem which must be faced as soon as the newcomers arrive in Israel.”

“In addition,” he stated, “the Jewish Agency is not always free to choose the most expedient and cheapest modes of transportation. Often, circumstances make it necessary to use means or routes of transportation which are twice as expensive as the figures provided for in the original budget. Thus, not only the number of immigrants but also the per capita cost of transportation can hardly be predicted at the beginning of the budgetary year.”


In March, 1961, he told the session, “when the Jewish Agency budget for 1961-62 was about to go into effect, a certain country of emigration suddenly opened up and by May of that year it was obvious that budget figures would have to be revised. Actually, immigration during that year reached twice the size of the estimates on which the original budget was based.”

“Towards the end of 1961,” he continued, “another country which has had an ‘on again-off again’ policy with regard to Jewish emigration for many years once more opened its doors and it appears that the 1962 immigration figure from that part of the world will be the highest since the establishment of the State of Israel.”

Mr. Lubin illustrated the effect of these developments on the Jewish Agency’s budget. He told the delegates that the Jewish Agency earmarked $60, 400, 000 for the year 1961-62, with $28,700,000 anticipated in allocations from the United Jewish Appeal. A recently audited report, he pointed out, shows that the Jewish Agency expended $87,400,000 on its immigrant assistance program for this period, of which $35,000,000 was covered by United Jewish Appeal allocations.

Thus, he emphasized, although the needs of immigration forced the Jewish Agency to spend $27,000,000 over its original estimate, if received only slightly more than $6,000,000 over the amount originally expected from the UJA.

A decision by the United Jewish Appeal to seek contributions for a 1963 Special Fund will not be the first time that the UJA has asked for supplementary contributions. It has had Special Fund appeals every year since 1956, with the exception of 1961, Mr. Meyerhoff, in his disclosure that a recommendation will be made for a Special Fund in 1963, did not indicate its goal. This will be fixed by the UJA’s Annual Conference next month, provided it accepts the Special Fund recommendation in the first place.

Agreement and action on this will be in addition to Conference action in adopting a goal for the UJA’s regular campaign. The proceeds on both the Special Fund and Regular campaigns will go for the refugee aid, immigration, welfare and rehabilitation programs conducted by the UJA constituent bodies. These are the United Israel Appeal-Jewish Agency, Inc., the Joint Distribution Committee and the New York Association for New Americans.


At workship sessions today, the CJFWF Assembly discussed the role of federations in Jewish education. Isaac Toubin, director of the American Association for Jewish Education, presented the findings of the study which his organization made on financing Jewish Day Schools, a summary of which was reported today by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Morris W. Satinsky, of Philadelphia, was another principal speaker at the session on education, which was held under the chairmanship of Morris Garvett, of Detroit.

Within the context of total federation responsibilities for all communal services and for the variety of Jewish education programs, consideration was given at the session also to the federation’s relationship to Jewish all-day schools. The discussions also centered on the problem how can federations enable Jewish education programs for which they accept planning and financial responsibility to become more effective.

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