NEW YORK (Dec. 25)
A check for 100 million Lire (about $108,000) was presented in Rome Tuesday to the Italian government for earthquake relief by HIAS, the Joint Distribution Committee, ORT and the Jewish Agency. Gaynor Jacobson, executive vice president of HIAS, in announcing the gift, stated:
“Since World War II, the people of Italy offered haven and refuge to Jews in flight from persecution. In 1979 alone, over 50,000 Soviet Jews were brought into Italy under HIAS auspices on their way to new homes in the U.S., Canada and Australia.”
The donation by the four Jewish organizations was made on behalf of Jews in the U.S. and Israel and also included funds contributed by Soviet Jewish refugees helped to reach the U.S. by HIAS, Jacobson said. Included in the check were personal contributions by members of the HIAS staff in Rome, he said. The funds will be used to provide relief supplies and emergency housing for victims of the earthquake that ravaged southern Italy last month.