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Plea to Aid Vietnamese Refugees Brings Flood of Calls to Federation

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago was swamped with hundreds of telephone calls one day last week in response to a plea to help Vietnamese refugees, Federation officials reported The telephone number of the Federation was given in the course of a program on the local CBS-TV station featuring the plight of the refugees. However, the number given, for viewers who wished to help the Vietnamese, was not identified as the number of the Federation.

Many callers, responding to the plea, were surprised when their calls were answered with “Shalom.” One caller said he was surprised because he didn’t know that Shalom was a Vietnamese word. The offers for help included contributions of money, job offers and sponsorship, including taking refugees into private homes.