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News Brief

September 26, 1926
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The Independent Order B’nai B’rith will cooperate in bringing emergency relief to the thousands of families made homeless and destitute by the devastation of the Florida hurricane, Alfred M. Cohen, international president of the Independent Order B’nai B’rith declared when he announced that Dr. Boris Bogen, executive secretary of the organization, had gone to Florida to determine how the Order can render prompt and effective assistance in the present emergency.

“The Florida catastrophe is a call which should rouse the sympathies of the nation,” Mr. Cohen declared in his statement. “The I. O. B. B. is anxious to help in any way that it can to assist in providing shelter, medical supplies, food, clothing, and reconstructive aid to the Florida sufferers. We know that in a time of distress nationalities do not count, but we feel that if we can assist to the extent of lifting the burden of caring for our own coreligionists who were rendered needy and destitute by this calamity, from the shoulders of the heavily taxed relief agencies, we will be doing only a measure of that which our sympathies prompt us to. Many Jews contributed largely to the upbuilding of Florida and shared in her material prosperity. These men and women are now sharing her tragedy.

“The I. O. B. B. is at present engaged in a program of utmost importance to our Order and to American Jewry. However, the Florida catastrophe overshadows every other claim. It is an appalling climax to the phenomenal development of this State–a climax which makes us all feel awed and humble, cognizant only of one thing–that spiritual values alone endure. The undaunted spirit of the men and women of Florida, aided by the sympathy and cooperation of the whole world will, I am certain, lend itself promptly to the task of rebuilding upon the broken sands.

“The I. O. B. B. throughout the eighty-three years of its existence has been prompty to respond and render aid in every national catastrophe, and today it is carrying on a valued tradition.”

Complying with a telegraphic request from John Barton Payne, chairman of the American Red Cross, David A. Brown, national chairman of the United Jewish Campaign, sent a telegram to the State Chairmen of the United Jewish Campaign, calling on them to mobilize their state units for cooperation with local Red Cross chapters throughout the country in the effort to raise relief funds for the victims of the Florida disaster. Mr. Brown’s telegram read:

“Wire just received by me from John Barton Payne, chairman of the American Red Cross, announces minimum of four to five million dollars necessary to enable Red Cross carry out Florida relief. He accepts offer services United Jewish Campaign organization and asks that we work through local Red Cross chapters in all parts of the country. As Chairman of your State kindly convey this message to all your local organizations throughout State so that our great humanitarian organization can render immediate and most effective service to the hundreds seriously injured, the widowed, the orphaned and the homeless thousands in Florida.”

At a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society of America, held on Tuesday, it was decided to contribute to the funds being raised for the relief of the sufferers of the Florida disaster. Since Hias cannot take any sum from its own funds, which are purely for immigrant aid, and moreover, since it is working under a deficit, the Directors agreed to contribute individually to the fund.

A check for $1,000 was forwarded to the American Red Cross.

Rabbis in special sermons on Succoth urged their congregations to aid in the relief work in Florida.

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