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Joint Distribution Committee Aided 410, 000 Needy Jews in 1963

More than 410,000 needy Jews in 26 countries received relief, welfare and other aid from the Joint Distribution Committee during 1963, Moses A. Leavitt, JDC executive vice-chairman, reported today in the agency’s annual report. Nearly 90, 000 were in Moslem countries, over 86, 000 in Israel and the balance in Europe and other areas. This is the greatest number reported to have been aided by the agency since the days of the camps for displaced persons, Mr. Leavitt said.

JDC’s welfare and rehabilitation operations cost $29, 216,000 in 1963, Mr. Leavitt disclosed. For its programs in some 30 countries in 1964, JDC has adopted a budget of $30,769,000. JDC has spent almost $780,000,000 in its global assistance programs since its inception in 1914. The agency will celebrate its 50th anniversary in December.

JDC receives the bulk of its funds from the campaigns of the United Jewish Appeal. Mr. Leavitt also reported a substantial grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, as well as smaller contributions by Jewish communities in Canada, South America, and by a number of governmental and inter-governmental agencies. Funds from the Claims Conference represent German reparations and are used for assistance to Nazi victims.

In an introduction to the report, Edward M.M.Warburg, JDC chairman, observed that many of the problems confronting Jews in distressed areas had their origins “years ago, decades ago–in the agonies of war and Nazism–even centuries ago–when masses of Jews fled from the Spanish Inquisition to the then hospitable lands of North Africa.” It is a report of work done in one year. Mr. Warburg said. “But also, –and the point is all the more pertinent as JDC approaches its fiftieth anniversary, to be marked at the end of 1964–it is a chapter of history,” he added.

The report also contains a statement by Sol Satinsky of Philadelphia, chairman of the JDC National Council, on the agency’s Community Information Program. Mr. Satinsky observed that there was a “greater knowledge and a greater closeness to JDC than in past years, a greater awareness of its scope and a sensitivity to its problems.” Mr. Satinsky attributed this to the Community Information Program, in which overseas personnel visit American communities to provide eye-witness reports on latest developments in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, including Israel.

Mr. Leavitt reported that Jews in Moslem countries continued to be among the neediest in 1963. Despite the steadily shrinking Jewish population in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, the number of Jews requiring assistance in those countries remains close to 66, 000. Aid to Jews in all Moslem countries totals almost 90, 000.

JDC aid in Israel continued to increase, the report emphasized. In 1963 JDC provided some form of assistance to almost 86,500 men, women and children. This compares with 84, 000 assisted during 1962 and 78, 000 in 1961. Close to 49, 000 were cared for by Malben, JDC’s welfare program on behalf of aged, ill and handicapped newcomers to Israel. JDC-supported ORT schools in Israel provided vocational training for 18,900 students in 1963. In Europe, JDC assisted a total of 83, 000 needy Jews in 1963.

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