45 Jewish Organizations Create Emergency Committee on Jewish Refugees
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45 Jewish Organizations Create Emergency Committee on Jewish Refugees

Over 120 delegates, representing 45 American Jewish organizations, among which were the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Council of Jewish Women, the Hias, the Jewish National Workers’ Alliance, the Independent Order B’nai Brith, the Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, the Zionist Organization of America, the Haddassah, Women’s organization, the International Furriers’ Union and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America,

participated in a conference held yesterday, June 22, at the Hotel Astor, for the purpose of considering ways and means of relieving the situation of approximately 8,000 Jewish emigrants, who are now stranded in various cities and ports of Europe, Cuba and Mexico.

The conference, which lasted the entire day, under the chairmanship of Louis Marshall and Dr. Stephen S. Wise, resulted in a decision to form an “Emergency Committee on Jewish Refugees,” which should deal with the immediate needs of the emigrants, and inquire into the possibilities of other places of refuge. Two committees were appointed under the chairmanship of Mr. Max D. Steng and Mr. Joseph Barondess. The committee on “Plan and Scope,” which consisted of Measure Max D. Steuer, Nathan Krass, Joshua Kantrowitz, M. D. Rosenberg, John Bernstein, Max Pine, William Liberman and M. Levi, worked out a resolution, which is to serve as the constitution of the emergency committee, which reads in part as follows:

“Our primary purpose, naturally, is to aid in the repatriation of the largest possible number of these refugees. In the case of some, it behooves this Conference to make it possible that the stranded shall find a permanent place in the lands of their present sujounn, and finally, for the remainder, facilities should be provided to the end that they be enabled to take up their permanent abode in hospitable lands of freedom and security.

“A further and not less important task of this Conference on Jewish Immigration is to make a careful, thorough and scientific study of immigration and settlement possibilities in Central and South American lands and elsewhere, a task which must be performed with thoroughness and competence, in order that this conference may been abled to supply dependable data to Jews in European lands, who may wish or be compelled to emigrate from the lands in which they live. This task of investigation and survey must be undertaken with seriousness and performed with scientific accuracy.

“In all this work the Conference knows that it may depend upon the wise and helpful co-operation of Jews in the lands of Europe and elsewhere who are able and willing to give time and strength to the consideration and solution of the problem of Jewish emigration. This Conference will, wherever possible, depend upon Local initiative throughout the lands and countries of Europe in which Jews dwell.

“In order that these ends may be achieved, this Conference of Jewish Immigration herewith resolves:

“That there shall be constituted and designated an Emergency Committee on Jewish Refugees to be made up of one (two) members of the various organizations and groups which do or may hereafter

constitute it;

“That it shall be empowered to appoint an Executive Committee of fifteen;

“That it shall also be empowered to re-convene this Conference whenever it may seem desirable.

“In order that the Emergency Committee on Jewish Refugees may properly and adequately perform the tasks herein outlined, it shall take such steps as may be necessary to secure funds needed for the Emergency Committee, including the investigation and survey of possible lands of settlement.”

The conference also adopted a resolution to take the necessary steps to procure an extension of stay for those refugees who are stranded in the various countries.

A proposal made by Joel Antin, representing the Poale Zion, that the conference should participate in the World Congress on Jewish Emigration, which is to take place shortly in Carlsbad, was rejected by a majority of votes.

The “Emergency Committee on Jewish Refugees,” which will be formed within the next ten days, is to be composed of two representatives from each organization, who will in turn elect an Executive Committee of fifteen members.

No definite amount has been fixed yet for the purpose of this work, but it has been estimated that not less than $1,000,000 will be needed to carry out the outlined program.

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