NEW YORK (May. 5)
More than 4,500 Jewish newcomers to the United States were aided to settle in New York City in 1965 by the New York Association for Now Americans, a beneficiary agency of the United Jewish Appeal, it was announced by Martin Kleinbard, president, at the agency’s annual meeting today. Mr. Kloinbard, who was reelected to a third term as president of NYANA, reported that the agency expended $685,000 in 1965 for its wide array of settlement services.
In his report, Mr. Kloinbard said that the newcomers came from 30 different countries, including a number from Eastern Europe arriving to rejoin relatives. The average cost of resettling a family of four, he said, was $1,250 and 75 percent actually received less than $1,250 as the total financial help from NYANA. Many families, he pointed out, are self-supporting within a few weeks after arrival.
A total of 1, 450 newcomers were assisted in finding jobs by the agency, which also provides vocational training, retraining for professionals and a sheltered workshop for the aged. In 1965, 71 persons were employed in the sheltered workshop. The Youth Services Division aided 200 young people between the ages of 14 and 23 through a special counseling and educational service. Recognizing the need for higher education for children from marginal income families, NYANA sought college and university scholarships for qualified newcomers and provided partial help for expenses.
JEWISH REFUGEES FROM CUBA REPORTED MAKING RAPID ADJUSTMENT
Philip Soskis, executive director of the NYANA, reported that the agency resettled 600 families from Cuba between 1961 and 1965. Representing some 1,700 persons, 144 were children unaccompanied by their parents who were cared for by the agency until the families could be reunited. Only 21 are still waiting for their parents’ arrival. It is estimated that there are some 2, 500 Jews still left in Cuba of an original 10,000.
In a survey conducted last month, the agency interviewed 100 of the resettled families — one-sixth of the total. All except three have made remarkable strides in the short span of four years or less. These three are elderly persons in ill health who are not able to be self-supporting. More than half of the families were Nazi victims who, once again, were forced to leave everything behind them and start anew. Most had worked in the professions and small businesses in Cuba, with a few owning large businesses employing up to one hundred persons. None reported anti-Semitism in Cuba, but stated that they did not want to live under an authoritarian Communist regime. They valued freedom above their material possessions.
On arrival, most of the employable persons went into unskilled, low-paying jobs because of lack of English or skills not immediately transferable. Information from 86 of the one hundred families who were able to remember specific starting salaries showed that 46 began at less than $60 a week and 22 earned between $80 and $100. Today, they have moved up the income scale. Two-thirds of the families are earning between $100 and $200 a week, and only 15 are in the $80-$100 bracket. Nine reported incomes of over $200.
Thirteen former businessmen have already established themselves in some business venture — small retail shops, shoe shop, costume jewelry shop and manufacturing on a small scale such items as men’s shirts and other clothing. Three of them are already employing other persons. Some of the occupations of families surveyed are salesman, export manager, insurance auditor, draftsman, laboratory technician, machinist, knitter and college professor.
Another factor pointing toward the upward mobility of the Cuban group is the continued improvement in living quarters. Rentals are now over $100 a month and three are already home owners. Seventeen of the families own cars. Twenty young people in the group are attending institutions of higher learning, some through scholarships and government loans and others through part-time work. Almost all of the adults attended adult education classes in English conducted by the Board of Education.