Jewish Support for Italian Earthquake Relief Passes $140,000

– Over $140,000 has been donated by the Jewish community of the United States for the relief of victims of the earthquake in the Naples area of Italy last November.

According to Henry Taub, president of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, $30,000 of the total was donated by the JDC from its own funds immediately following the catastrophe. “The other donations,” he added, “have come from people in all walks of life, who wished to show their concern for the victims of the earthquake.”

SPONSORING PRE-FABRICATED COMMUNITY

JDC executive vice president Ralph Goldman said that “on the recommendation of our Rome office we are sponsoring the construction of a prefabricated community center which is being built in the mountain town of Potenza for us by the Italian Red Cross.”

Goldman pointed out that “the aim of the center is to provide day care for aged and children, including recreational and educational programs, distribution of hot meals, toilet services, and medical assistance where required.” He said construction of the center is to begin in a few days and is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

He said the center will be managed by Red Cross operators and also staff from the Potenza town administration; primary and secondary school teachers, social workers, doctors and manual workers.

Goldman added that 100 million Lira were transferred to the Italian Red Cross by the JDC at a ceremony in the offices of the Italian Minister of the Interior Dec. 23. Also attending, he said, were representatives of ORT, HIAS, and the Jewish Agency which together with JDC cooperate in helping Soviet Jewish emigrants in Italy.

“Potenza, according to the information we have received,” Goldman said, “was devastated by the earthquake. Over 400 homes were destroyed. It is also one of three locations in the earthquake area where Jews were interned during World War II.” Goldman said that the JDC, which helped Jewish refugees in Italy in the aftermath of World War II had found records that showed repeated references to the “friendly and helpful” attitude of the people in this area “whose aid may well have saved many Jews from capture.”

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