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Jews’ Relief Work in Russia Non-sectarian, Says Former JDC Head

November 21, 1923
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date
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Commenting on Dr. Fridjhof Nansen’s recent statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on the non-sectarian character of Jewish Relief Work, James N. Rosenberg, Vice-Chairman of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, who was in Europe for almost a year as the European head of that Committee, said:

“It is so well known that the great bulk of the J.D.C. work in Russia has been non-sectarian that that fact hardly needs to be pointed out. The entire child feeding program in the Ukraine, involving the expenditure of $2,500,000. which was a non-sectarian relief activity, was financed by the J.D.C. and was conducted by its personnel, together with the personnel of the American Relief Administration, under the joint direction of Col. W.R. Grove and Dr. Beris D. Bogen. To the non-sectarian adult feeding, including intelligentsia students, etc., the J.D.C. contributed $1,500,000. Though the moneys of the J.D.C. were collected by Jews, from Jews, for Jews, the J.D.C. recognized that in times of famine, no distinction of creed could be drawn and that in the famine that overtook the Ukraine, it would be contrary to the principles of humanity to feed only the Jewish children. Therefore all the Russian children were fed, irrespective of race or creed, and this was done with the money of the J.D.C. I could mention many other examples of cooperative, non-sectarian work financed by the J.D.C., such as the joint work with the Y.M.C.A., the feeding of the students in the Volga district, etc. These facts are already, however, well known to the Americans.

“Dr. Joseph Rosen, the head of the J.D.C. reconstruction work, has just come back to America. The 86 tractors which the J.D.C. sent to Russia plowed 100,000 acres. The J.D.C. work and money, under the leadership of Dr. Rosen, has resulted in the raising of sufficient, high-grade, pure-bred seed for the planting of 3,000,000 acres in the next season. The tractor work and this pure seed work were done in the districts where there arrmany Jewish farmers, but it was not done exclusively for them. It was done with a view to the fact that all the farmers in those territories would benefit. These are only instances of J.D.C. work which benefit all the Russian population.”

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