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Charles Jordan Named Executive Head of J.d.c.; Succeeds Leavitt

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Edward M.M. Warburg, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, announced today that Charles H. Jordan, of Geneva, has been named executive head of the welfare agency, with the title of Director-General. Mr. Jordan succeeds Moses A. Leavitt, JDC executive vice-chairman who died in Geneva last month.

Mr. Jordan will be in charge of JDC’s programs on behalf of needy Jews in 30 countries, the JDC chairman indicated. The designation was made at a special meeting of the JDC Administration Committee, Mr. Jordan will continue to maintain his head quarters in Geneva, but will be coming to New York for frequent consultations. Serving under him will be Herbert Katzki as Deputy Director-General in Geneva, and Samuel L. Haber as Deputy Director-General in New York. Miss Dorothy L. Speiser, assistant treasurer, will assume additional duties as JDC Secretary.

“Moses A. Leavitt was a man of unique gifts,” Mr. Warburg declared. “His extraordinary contributions affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in all parts of the world. His name will be remembered with affection and gratitude not only by those who benefited from his efforts, but by all those who worked with him through the years.” “It has been JDC’s good fortune that for the past ten years Charles Jordan has been its director-general overseas. Because of Mr. Jordan’s vast experience in assisting refugees and the needy, his advice and counsel has been sought by governmental and intergovernmental bodies, as well as other voluntary agencies. He has our full support in the difficult task which lies ahead of him,” Mr. Warburg stressed.

Mr. Jordan has served as JDC’s chief operations officer since he was named Director-General for Overseas Operations in 1955. He served for four years before that as Assistant Director-General. He joined the JDC staff in 1941 as director of the Caribbean area with headquarters in Havana, Cuba. He served in the United States Navy during World War II and rejoined the JDC in 1945 as director of Far Eastern activities. In 1948 Mr. Jordan was back in Paris in charge of the JDC Emigration Department which was responsible for the emigration of hundreds of thousands of surviving Jews from the DP camps.

In 1959 Mr. Jordan was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French Government, in recognition of services on behalf of refugees who had found haven in France. He was also named co-chairman of the International Committee for World Refugee Year in 1960. He served two terms as president of the Standing Conference of Voluntary Agencies Working for Refugees, composed of national and international voluntary agencies. Mr. Jordan was born in Philadelphia and received his education at the University of Berlin, and the Pennsylvania and New York schools of social work.

Herbert Katzki first joined the JDC staff in New York in 1936. He has served the welfare agency overseas since 1939, except for military service during World War II, He was named Assistant Director-General in 1951, Samuel L. Haber Joined the JDC staff in 1947 as country director for the American Zone of Germany. He became Assistant Director-General in 1958, and was named Assistant Executive Vice-Chairman in 1964, serving in JDC’s New York headquarters. Miss Dorothy L. Speiser, after serving in the New York headquarters of the JDC, was assigned overseas in 1939 to assist General Morris C. Troper, chairman of the European Executive Council of the JDC. She returned to New York in 1939 and was named assistant comptroller in 1948. She was elected Assistant Treasurer in 1951.

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