JDC Chief Says French Jewry Covers Major Share of Refugee Aid Costs

Since the end of World War II, France has admitted and absorbed more Jews than any other country except Israel, Louis B. Horowitz, director-general of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, stated in a report issued here today reviewing the JDC’s activities on behalf of refugees and displaced persons and the increased responsibilities it faces.

Mr. Horowitz said that France’s “open door” policy, which is being continued by the present Government, accounts for the increase in France’s Jewish population from 150,000 in 1945 to 550,000 today. He said that the bulk of this net increase of 400,000 was due to the successive waves of refugees admitted to France from displaced persons camps, from Eastern Europe and, in recent years, from North Africa.

Mr. Horowitz disclosed that 24,200 Jews left Arab countries during the six-month period from July 1, 1967 to Dec. 31. More than 15,000 of them, he said, have found haven in France and approximately 13,000 have had to apply for some kind of help to Jewish welfare agencies subsidized by the JDC.

He said the welfare of Jews in their native lands or in countries where they find haven is the type of world Jewish problem that prompted American Jews to organize the JDC more than 50 years ago. He said that despite the sharp increase in Jewish needs, the Fonds Social Juifs Unifie, the central welfare body of France’s Jewish community, is assuming ever growing financial responsibility for welfare programs and requires JDC assistance for only 25 percent of its budget. “Were it not for the many new problems that French Jewry faces, it would have no further need for outside help,” Mr. Horowitz stated.

NEXT STORY