The questionaire sent out by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency concerning the practicability of the proposed National Jewish Community Chest in the United States, is being broadly discussed in Jewish circles. The point of dispute is the question, “What is to be included in the proposed chest?” Difference of opinion is expressed, particularly with regard to Palestine.
Rabbi Morris S. Lazaron, of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation says, “I consider the establishment of a national chest for all Jewish charitable and educational activities to be the finest and most practical step forward. It deserves the support of all American Jewry. You ask me how I think the Board should be elected. Pernaps a good plan would be to have every agency represented in the Chest send delegates in proportion to its size and budget to a meeting at which from among those represented, a governing board might be elected which should have charge also of the distribution of funds. I am not at all sure that Palestine should be included in such a chest. I am, as you know, deeply interested in the Zionist movement and in the restoration of Palestine and I believe the question of allocating funds in this direction may, because of differences of opinion on this subject, prove detrimental to both causes. The Palestine appeal can stand on its own feet.”
“I am heartily in favor of a united effort”, states Mr. Nat Stone of the Boston Store, Milwaukee, “wherein all Jewry will take part in assembling its forces towards the conclusion of one fund. This should be an annual affair, and under no circumstances, other cause should be permitted to interfere or create additional efforts. This should operate along the line of our Federated Charities, of which we have now, many, and works so splendidly. I sincerely trust you will advocate this, as I am also promoting the thought through this part of the country, along the same lines. “
“I fear”, says Rabbi Max Heller, of the Congregation Temple Sinai, New Orleans, “that the plan for a national chest, covering our domestic and foreign charities, is too gigantic to be practicable and implies, to my feeling, an extreme concentration which may prove dangerous. I am, at all times, in favor of broadening our philanthropy so as to include education. Palestine, too, is an integral element in any complete plan of permanent upbuilding. The me thuds for electing officers and distributing funds could be agreed upon easily enough. The paramount question would be whether the economical savings and other material advantages would counterbalance the inevitable loss of personal interest and active participation.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.