NEW YORK (Aug. 13)
Despite elimination of many programs aiding needy Jews overseas — as a result of lack of funds — the Joint Distribution Committee aided more than 400,000 needy Jews in 30 countries during 1966, it was reported by Charles H. Jordan, JDC executive vice-chairman in the agency’s annual report published here this weekend.
The 401,000 aided included 87,135 assisted in Israel. 76.455 in Europe and 56,565 in the Moslem countries. The total number aided compares with 413.000 aided in 1965 and 430,000 assisted in 1964. The decline was not due to a decrease in the number of people needing help, but to insufficient funds to provide help for all those who needed help, Mr. Jordan said.
“In other years it was heartening to be able to report a decrease in the number of JDC’s beneficiaries from the year before.” he said. “The decrease meant that some of the sick had been healed; the refugee had found a home, the newcomer had become independent, the feeding program, the hospital bed, the pair of shoes, were no longer needed.” JDC’s straitened financial condition was due mainly to the termination at the end of 1964 of German reparations payments, which averaged $7,000,000 yearly since 1954, Mr. Jordan said. Despite increased efforts by American Jewish communities through the United Jewish Appeal, only a fraction of that sum was made up, he added.
The decrease in the number of people aided in Israel — from 97,000 in 1965 to 87,135 in 1966 was reflected mainly in the sharp decline in the number of people aided by Malben, the JDC program on behalf of aged, ill and handicapped newcomers to Israel. In 1965 Malben assisted 50,565 needy immigrants and in 1966 the number aided fell to 37,208, a drop of 13.357. JDC’s health, welfare and rehabilitation programs cost the agency $22,594,800 in 1966, an increase of more than $500.000 over 1965. Mr. Jordan explained that this sum provided for roughly the same amount of services for 12,000 fewer people in 1966, primarily because of inflation and increased costs in many of the 30 countries in which JDC operates.
In an introductory message in the report, Louis Broido, JDC chairman, took note of the war in the Middle East and said that it would “set in motion processes which will continue, which will bear on the lives of men, women and children hundreds and thousands of miles from the scene of the events.” Mr. Broido stated that JDC’s response will be “as it always has been,” humanitarian and non-political. “This is the mission given us in 1914.” he said.
In another message in the annual report, which is sent to close to 10,000 members of the JDC National Council throughout the United States and Canada, Jack D. Weiler, chairman of the National Council, stressed the importance of the National Council in keeping the Jewish community apprised of the continuing needs overseas as well as the achievements. He stressed especially the importance of visits to JDC installations overseas by leaders of the Jewish community while on tour. “Nothing will give them a better view of how JDC works for them, bringing help to needy Jews wherever it is needed, whenever it is needed,” he said,