NEW YORK (Jun. 17)
American Jewish communities responded with a record sum of $33,425,000 to an intensive United Jewish Appeal six-week cash collection drive, “to translate pledges on hand into a great life-saving flow of funds to aid Jewish refugees in France and the immigrants who are entering Israel in tremendously increasing numbers,” Joseph Meyerhoff, UJA’s general chairman, announced today.
The announcement was made at a luncheon session of an all-day meeting of the UJA’s National Campaign Cabinet, held at the Plaza Hotel. Also attending today’s meeting of the UJA’s top-planning and policy-setting body, were members of the 61-man UJA National Cash Committee and chairmen of local campaigns from communities throughout the country.
The leaders gathered to hear a report on the progress of the UJA’s 1963 campaign by Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, the UJA’s executive vice-chairman; authoritative reviews of developments overseas by Avraham Harman, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States. Michael S. Comay, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations and S. Z. Shragai, head of the Immigration Department of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem.
A final report of UJA’s midyear mobilization of cash which was launched on April 30 to meet rising emergencies in France and in Israel was made by Israel D. Fink of Minneapolis, chairman of the UJA National Cash Collection Campaign. Ambassador Harman, and Ambassador Comay were presented with special awards in recognition of “their arduous and inspiring efforts in behalf of the UJA’s 25th Anniversary Campaign.”
At today’s meeting, Mr. Shragai informed the UJA leaders that the Jewish Agency–the organization responsible for the reception, resettlement and absorption of newcomers to Israel–faces a “piling up of unmet human needs because immigrant aid requirements are far outpacing both the amount we budgeted as well as the flow of available funds. If the whole giant machine of Jewish rescue, resettlement, rehabilitation and relief is not to be slowed or halted, funds must start pouring in as never before,” he said.
The first six months of this year, Mr. Shragai reported, was marked by one of the heaviest immigrations in a decade, “most of them coming in with very little in the way of financial resources.” He warned that there are thousands more on the way.
Mr. Fink, the UJA national chairman who is serving for the third successive year as chairman of the UJA’s National Cash Collection drive, stressed that “it is not only Israel where cash is needed. There is a situation developing in France that haunts the waking and sleeping hours of the Joint Distribution Committee and the French Jewish Welfare Agencies. On July 1, thousands of Algerian refugees in France–Jew and non-Jew alike–may find their government repatriation allowances terminated.
“We hope and pray that the French government will continue this vitally essential humanitarian aid,” he said. “But should this happen, there may be as many as 25,000 men, women and children turning to Jewish sources for total assistance. If the French government’s one-year repatriation allowance should end, Jewish welfare agencies will turn instinctively to the JDC for this additional financial assistance and we dare not fail them.”
Both Mr. Fink and Rabbi Friedman emphasized the absolute necessity for the UJA to realize in full its nationwide 1963 campaign goal of $96,000,000 including $36,000,000 for a Special Fund to be used specifically to meet the needs of current newcomers to Israel and related refugee needs.