JDC Participating in National Appeal for Cambodian Refugees

The president of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Donald Robinson, and the executive vice president of the JDC, Ralph Goldman, were among an outstanding group of American leaders who attended a meeting of the National Cambodia Crisis Committee at the White House Tuesday. The meeting was the start of a national appeal to the American public.

According to Robinson, the JDC, as the overseas relief arm of American Jewry, has been active in support of Cambodian relief and has received “nearly $200,000 in donations from Jewish Federations and Welfare funds, synagogues, voluntary agencies and individuals in the Jewish and general community.”

Goldman, in a summary of JDC activities just released, noted that the agency had already made “contributions to the emergency feeding programs of the International Rescue Committee; had arranged emergency shipment to Thailand of educational material published by Helen Keller International and designed to aid in the detection and prevention of Xerophthalmia (blindness caused by Vitamin A deficiency); and acting in response to a telexed request from a JDC senior staff member in Thailand, has approved the immediate purchase of school supplies, textbooks and other materials necessary for the education of orphans in the refugee population.”

“In addition,” Goldman said, “The JDC is currently undertaking a needs assessment of the Cambodian refugee population in Thailand with emphasis on the medical, nutritional, educational and social problems of children.”

Robinson expressed his appreciation for the role the Synagogue Council of America has played in the campaign through its support of the Interfaith Hunger Appeal. The Appeal, jointly founded by the JDC, the Catholic Relief Services and the Church World Service, has sought to promote awareness of Cambodian refugee needs on an interdenominational basis.

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