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Rapid Exodus of Polish Jews Has Strained Jdc’s Financial Resources, Horowitz Says

The rapid exodus of Jews from Poland has strained the financial resources of the Joint Distribution Committee to a point where it will have to curtail its relief operations in Israel and other parts of the world unless additional funds are immediately forthcoming Louis D. Horowitz, director general of the international relief agency, said an additional $1 million was required for refugee needs in 1970. The JDC’s budget for 1969 amounted to $23 million.

Mr. Horowitz made his assessment at the close of the 23rd annual JDC overseas conference here. He said, “the final outpouring of Polish Jews that began early in September imposed a life or death priority for JDC and left it with no alternative but to find the large sum of money needed to care for the refugees and other hundreds of Jewish transmigrants from Eastern Europe and the Middle East whom we care for in Vienna, Rome and Paris while they await their migration papers.”

Mr. Horowitz said that unless the money can be found, JDC would have to freeze its current world-wide health and welfare programs at a “dismally inadequate level. We will have to say no to increasing the distribution of food, clothing, fuel and medicine to elderly Jews in Rumania; we will have to say no to the handicapped in Israel, to the deaf, crippled and retarded children; we will have to say no to social investments that would help migrants from North Africa to adjust to cold, grey climates in the industrialized society in Europe; and we will have to say no to urgently needed repairs of school buildings in Iran that are ready to fall down on the children’s heads,” Mr. Horowitz said.

Mr. Horowitz noted that Jews have been departing from Poland at a rate of 1.000 a month since last September. Mainly they are Jews who applied for exit permits before the Sept. 1. deadline set by the Warsaw regime last spring. He said that, according to recent estimates, there are fewer than 18,000 Jews left in Poland.

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