NEW YORK (Dec. 6)
The Joint Distribution Committee will need $30,400,000 as a minimum budget for 1974 compared to the $29,624,000 it spent in 1973, Samuel L. Haber, JDC executive vice-chairman, said today in submitting the budget to some 400 delegates attending the JDC’s 59th annual meeting at the New York Hilton Hotel. “Continued inflation, the effect of the devaluation of the American dollar on the local currencies in areas of JDC operation, and the increase in the number of people who will be assisted by JDC in 1974 to about 400,000 all combine to increase the financial requirements of JDC.” Haber explained. The budget, which was adopted by the Jewish community leaders from the United States and Canada, will be submitted tomorrow to the annual meeting of the United Jewish Appeal, also at the Hilton. UJA provides 90 percent of JDC’s funds.
In his “Report for 1973 and the Budgetary Needs for 1974,” Haber pointed out that there are “many intangibles” in estimating the 1974 budgetary requirements. “Changes have been necessitated and additional changes will have to be made as the consequence of the (Yom Kippur) war become more apparent, as the political and social climate changes, not only in Israel but also in the North African countries and to some extent in Europe,” Haber stressed. He added that this means that the 1974 budget may have to be revised.
The 1974 budget provides: $8,200,000 for JDC in Israel, most of it to Malben programs; $1 million for cultural and religious activities in Israel; $3 million for Western Europe; $2,500,000 for Rumania and Yugoslavia; $4,800,000 for relief-in-transit; $4,500,000 for Arab and Moslem countries; $350,000 for other countries; $3,100,000 for ORT-Reconstruction, and $2,950,000 for other programs. The JDC helped approximately 385,000 men, women and children throughout the world in 1973, Haber reported. In Israel this included 40,000 aided by the direct and indirect programs of Malben, 6000 of them in hospitals, institutions or other direct services; 35,000 assisted in JDC’s traditional programs of support for religious and cultural activities and more than 43,000 enrolled in ORT vocational training programs. In 1973, JDC provided a monthly subsidy to 156 yeshivot in Israel with a student enrollment of close to 22,000.
In France where the Jewish population now numbers 580,000, JDC contributes just under 25 percent of the cost of the social and cultural services supported through the Fonds Social Juif Unifie, the central Jewish social welfare organization in France. More than 55,000 men, women and children in France are assisted by programs supported in part by JDC funds. In Argentina, which has the fifth largest Jewish community in the world, serious financial reverses in recent years have seriously threatened the very existence of its network of Jewish schools with some 18,000 pupils. The JDC together with the Jewish Agency undertook a rescue operation and the JDC allocated $300,000 in both 1972 and 1973.
Other highlights of Haber’s report included: aid to about 2000 Soviet and East European Jews who were immigrating to the United States through Rome and Vienna; providing welfare needs to some 18,000 Jews in Rumania, most of them aged and sick; aid to approximately 130,000 needy Jews in certain East European countries through a program called Relief in Transit, who would otherwise be entirely cut off from sources of assistance; help to about 4000 persons leaving Morocco, almost’ double the 1972 figure, of whom half went to Israel and almost all of the rest to France; 67,000 trainees enrolled in the worldwide vocational programs of ORT; and Passover supplies to Jewish communities in Europe, mainly Rumania and special grants for Passover aid in North Africa and the Middle East.