U.J.A. Adopts $96,000,000 Goal for 1963; Re-elects Meyerhoff As Head
Menu JTA Search

U.J.A. Adopts $96,000,000 Goal for 1963; Re-elects Meyerhoff As Head

Download PDF for this date

The United Jewish Appeal 25th Annual National Conference concluded its three-day sessions here today with unanimous adoption of a $96,000,000 goal for aid to Jews in 28 countries during 1963. Joseph Meyerhoff, of Baltimore, was re-elected to a third successive term as UJA General Chairman.

Adoption by the delegates of the $96,000,000 goal called for the raising of $60,000,000 through the UJA’s traditional campaign effort, and $36,000,000 through a supplementary UJA Special Fund. The latter was established “to ensure the ready availability of a large extra source of aid with which to meet and overcome developing resettlement and absorption emergencies in Israel, stemming from an over-normal ongoing immigration, and to cope with acute social welfare needs in France, resulting from a recent influx of 160,000 Jewish refugees from Algeria, Tunisia and other countries.”

The final session today ushered in a year-long observance of the UJA’s 25th anniversary, which will be marked by more than 3,000 Jewish communities across the country in connection with their 1963 drives. The observances will be under the guidance of a 25th anniversary committee headed by former Senator Herbert H. Lehman of New York, and Mr. Meyerhoff, serving as the committee’s honorary general chairman and chairman, respectively. Communal activities in connection with the UJA’s 25th anniversary will be directed by a UJA community activities committee of which William Rosenwald is chairman.

Addressing the closing session, Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver said: “We will now be working from a base of strength which we did not have 25 years ago. We will never be desperate again, because our people will have a place to go. We now have a well-trained, cohesive Jewish community in the United States. We are not unprepared to handle Jewish problems all over the world. Our American Jewish community is not an escapist community. They have a binding sense of loyalty. Our young people are becoming more closely associated every way with the Jewish community.”


Addressing more than 2,000 delegates and guests at the UJA banquet last night, former President Harry S. Truman expressed admiration for “the patience and restraint” of Israel’s diplomatic corps who, he said, “year in and year out have been subjected at the United Nations and other public forums to a barrage of abuse on the part of representatives of Israel’s neighbors.”

“Israel has more than lived up to the hopes of all who helped to usher her into the family of nations,” Mr. Truman said. “She had become a fortress of democracy in a part of the world where the democratic tradition has not yet taken root. She has fought a valiant fight against the ravages of nature. She has extended a helping hand to other underdeveloped countries. She has become a great center of learning and culture. And above all, she has joined you in the monumental effort in the absorption of more than a million Jews who in Israel have found new life and new hope.”

The UJA took the occasion of Mr. Truman’s participation in its 25th anniversary observance to bestow an award on him, in recognition of his “many great acts of statesmanship and compassion” while President of the United States “in behalf of the surviving victims of Nazi tyranny.” Silver candlesticks wrought in Israel were presented to him by Murray Fenster, a twice-wounded and three times decorated veteran of the Korean War, who was admitted as a refugee, liberated from a Nazi camp, to the United States in 1946, under a directive issued by Mr. Truman permitting the entry of 100,000 displaced persons of all faiths.

In another ceremony, a gold medallion, especially struck by the State of Israel, went to Mr. Lehman in “grateful recognition and appreciation” of his “uninterrupted leadership of the United Jewish Appeal” since its founding nearly a quarter of a century ago. Mr. Lehman, in accepting the award, said: “Ours is a story of the triumph of life over death; of good over evil; of compassion over brutality; of freedom over slavery; of decency over the laws of the jungle; of humanity over inhumanity.”


Edward M.M. Warburg told the gathering that the purpose of the Anniversary banquet and of the projected year-long observance of the UJA’s record “was not to bestow upon

“We know that survival is a man slipping across a barbed-wire frontier in the dead of night, but we have learned that it is also a man blinded by trachoma and begging his food in the streets. Survival is the kibbutznick with his rifle on the seat of the tractor next to him, but it is also the clean furrow which his tractor leaves behind. Survival is a woman descending from a train and drinking deeply for the first time of the air of freedom, but it is also a woman climbing the steps of a maternity hospital with a sureness that her baby will not die. Survival is a child running happily from the gangplank in Haifa, but it is also a child growing strong on the food he eats at a school in Casablanca or Teheran as his only meal of the day. All these are survival and all these are the UJA.”


Mr. Meyerhoff, in his opening remarks as the banquet’s presiding chairman, reviewed the UJA’s principal achievements since its establishment in 1939, emphasizing that the UJA has given aid to 3,000,000 Jews the world over, including the resettlement of 1,200,000 in Israel alone. “However,” he added, “acute Jewish problems still prevail in Europe and Israel, which the United Jewish Appeal and its agencies must deal with in the year ahead, and in special and extraordinary ways.”

Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, UJA executive vice-chairman, stressed the major role that the United Jewish Appeal has come to assume in the community since its formation. He declared that, since its inception, UJA has served as the “great unifier” in the American Jewish community. “What the UJA has done,” Rabbi Friedman said, “has been to create one great voice for American Jewry on problems of overseas aid. Additionally, it has been the standard-setter in matters of giving. It has educated people everywhere to new concepts of responsibility toward those they must help.”

“Additionally,” he declared, “the UJA has been the stimulator of many other ways and means to meet Jewish needs overseas. From it have sprung fresh concepts of private investments in Israel, of bond issues, and of other forms of aid. The United Jewish Appeal is not a temporary, one-time, one emergency kind of an agency. Neither does it see itself as remaining permanently in existence. Some day it hopes to be able to go out of existence. But after 25 years of great striving and effort, its work is still unfinished. Right now, there are 575,000 Jews in need all over the world. We shall have to go on helping these and others.”


Moshe Sharett, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, addressing the delegates, said that, thanks to the help given by American Jews through the United Jewish Appeal, and to the State of Israel’s irrevocable commitment to welcome any Jew who wishes to come to it, more than 1,000,000 Jews have been brought to Israel to begin new lives since the State’s establishment in 1948.

“But many more tens of thousands are still waiting to come,” Mr. Sharett told the meeting, “”and have been entering Israel in record numbers all during the past year. The tensions and unrest that dominate the life of our times affect with tragic impact the position of many Jewish communities. It will take great funds and unrelenting vigilance and perseverance, to save them.

Aryeh L. Pincus, treasurer of the Jewish Agency for Israel, stressed that the year 1963 promises to be the third year in succession that Israel will experience a far above normal immigration. “The tens of thousands who entered Israel in the past two years have already imposed an almost impossible burden on Israel’s people, particularly with the need to complete their absorption,” he said. “It is the responsibility of American Jews to make the extra effort to help meet the vast needs which exist and which face us.”

Mr. incus disclosed that the “Jewish Agency, Jerusalem, was forced to borrow many millions of dollars in Europe in 1962, and the Government of Israel was forced to make an extra contribution from its revenue that it could ill afford, in order to meet immigrant needs in 1962. This,” Mr. Pincus said, “was because contributions from American Jewry, great as they are, have not matched the present requirements.”

The delegates heard also from Avraham Harman, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, at a plenary session, with Jack D. Weiler of New York, a national chairman of the UJA, presiding.

At the concluding session today, the delegates, in addition to re-electing Mr. Meyerhoff as UJA General Chairman, also elected Isadore Breslau of Washington, D.C., and Jack D. Weiler of New York as national chairmen, representing respectively the United Israel Appeal and the Joint Distribution Committee–the constituent agencies of the UJA. Four new members were elected to the six-man group of national chairmen. They are: Melvin Dubinsky of St. Louis; Israel D. Fink of Minneapolis; Edward Ginsberg of Cleveland; and William Rosenwald of New York the latter a former UJA general chairman. The delegates also elected Dewey D. Stone of Boston as an honorary chairman; Fred Forman of Rochester and Benjamin H. Swig of San Francisco as honorary national chairmen; and Robert W. Schiff of Columbus, Chio as an honorary special fund chairman. Rabbi Friedman was re-elected UJA executive vice-chairman.

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