NEW YORK (Dec. 7)
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee adopted a budget of $43.3 million at its annual meeting here today and re-elected Henry Taub, New Jersey businessman and communal leader, to a third one-year term as president. Donald Robinson of Pittsburgh was re-elected chairman of the Board.
Ralph Goldman, JDC executive vice president, reported that “nearly half a million people in more than 30 countries” benefited from JDC programs in 1982. He termed 1982″ a year of creative growth for the JDC,” citing the welcome accorded the agency by the Jewish communities and the government authorities of Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. The JDC renewed operations in these countries during the past year. The agency had also been active in Rumania and Yugoslavia, and also in Eastern Europe for several years before.
On the other hand, Goldman said, 1982 was a year “when we saw the near elimination of emigration from the Soviet Union: only 2,514 came out during the first 11 months. We may expect no more than 2,700 for the year. This compares with 51,000 in 1979 and 9,450 in 1981.”
IMPACT OF UNSETTLED WORLD CONDITIONS
Taub told the meeting that unsettled world economic and political conditions had their impact on Jews and Jewish communities. He observed that these pressures coincided with a “lack of adequate funding,” forcing the JDC to cut or delay a number of vital programs.
Taub said the largest item in the 1983 budget will be for Relief and Welfare, which constitutes 38.3 percent of the total. The second largest item in the budget, he added, is Jewish Education with 22.9 percent; followed by Services to the Aged, 9.5 percent and health services 7.2 percent.
Taub observed that inflation and rising prices made it necessary for JDC “to review priorities and reshape programs to provide for the most urgent need for the greatest number.” As a result, he continued, JDC had to cut or postpone a number of programs. “Clothing distribution in Morocco and Rumania,” he said, “has been halted although we are trying to ease the situation by seeking donated merchandise.”
In Israel, he noted, “we have been forced to cancel or delay important new projects for lack of funds, one of them a manpower training program for community center personnel. I don’t have to reiterate how important the community center program is in bridging the cultural gap.”