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News Brief

October 12, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A review of the work of the Joint Distribution Committee last year and plans for next year, as well as its attitude toward various Palestine projects, were outlined by Felix M. Warburg in his address at the National Conference of the United of the United Jewish Campaign here.

“Up to September 1st of this year we have made the following appropriations,” Mr. Warburg stated:

“To be expended during 1926:

Russian activities $2,450,000

European 1,692,500

Child Care. Palestine 50,000

Palestine Economic Corp 500,000

Cultural 338,000

Ort (Total appropriated $300,000 of which to be expended during 1926) 150,000

For Administration, New York and Berlin 150,000


To be expended during 1927:

Russia ($2,000,000 less $450,000 drawn in 1926 1,550,000

Palestine Economic Corp 500,000

Ort activities, estimated drawings against $300,000 appropriation 100,000

Medical activities, Palestine 37,500


“These figures total $7,918,000.

“How far we will be able to comply with the urgent requests laid before us for future needs from the different parts of Europe will depend entirely on the success of our collections and on the success of the campaigns to be run during the next few months under the able, self-sacrificing guidance of Mr. Brown.

“Naturally, both Dr. Kahn and Dr. Rosen would like to know as soon as possible how far their operations have to be restricted and in what direction they plan for the next year and for the year 1928, when we hope to close.

“We borrowed $700,000 early this year. What can we count on for the future? The Joint Distribution Committee, for which I have the honor to speak, can only distribute what it has and, though we have to plead guilty that for the first time since we have been entrusted with the distribution of your funds, we have gone into debt to the amount of over $1,000,000, pending the collection of our pledges, we sincerely hope that the payments will be made more promptly within the next few months because now is the time to decide whether or not some of the needs can be fulfilled. Now is the time to decide how many people are to be settled on the farms in Russia how many school children can receive the extraordinary training which Dr. Kahn and the people to whom he has entrusted this work have given to the children put in our charge,” Mr. Warburg said.


“We are proud of our achievements because it is the first time we can recall having been able to call the attention of the world, which used to think of the Jews of Eastern Europe as traders only, to the fact that new circumstances and new opportunities have made new beings out of the people who formerly, while living within the Pale, were forcibly kept back in the fields of small trade between village and village.

“Dr. Rosen reports that there were expended up to July 1, 1926, for land survey about $30,600, for well drilling $60,400, for seeds $93,200, for live stock $190,000, for farm implements $92,000, planting vineyards and orchards $76,000, tractor operations $95,000, agricultural manufacturing enterprises $25,000, food and forage loans $430,000, buildings $640,000. for agricultural extension work $183,000, and for administration, the comparatively small amount of $107,000, making a grand total of over $1,600,000.

“It must be borne in mind that over 80 per cent of our expenditures are in the form of loans to settlers. Under average normal conditions it may be expected that these will begin to return within three to five years, so that we are building a foundation for the continuation of this work on a smaller scale for future years. The loans are made to groups of settlers or to agricultural cooperatives which are being organized in all districts. Dr. Rosen estimates that by the end of this year we should receive from the old Jewish colonies and from new settlers of 1923-1924, about $100,000 in refunds,” Mr. Warburg said.

Speaking of the relation to Palestine, Mr. Warburg stated: “While Dr. Kahn has covered the supervision in the different countries of Europe, we have continued our interest in Palestine and its different activities. We have given a good deal of time to the affairs of the university and were represented at the meetings in London and Paris. We found that the orphan situation needed further assistance and we have appropriated $50,000 for that field. We also continued our medical work. As our figures have shown, we expect to give the Palestine Economic Cooperation $500,000 this year, which will be used as soon as they can find a proper investment, and for the next two years $500,000 additional a year will be available.


“I regret that Mr. Flexner, the head of that corporation, has been delayed in coming to Chicago, but I am told that he will arrive before this meeting is over and he can give you details of the different projects, such as the Central Bank of Cooperative Institutions, which received support; industrial credits, which we studied; certain farm loans, etc., All these have been considered, not to mention the Ruttenburg scheme, on which we had plenty of correspondence, until we were told that it was decided to go ahead with the English electric concern and the loan which the Trade Facilities Committee finally decided to make for that purpose. We would have been glad to use the money which has been set aside for that purpose for quite some time, but as long as the contract is satisfactory to the English people, we are only too glad that this problem of ours is going to be pushed.

“We hoped to invest some money in the banana situation and have to thank Mr. Zemurray of New Orleans for his kindness in giving his opinion on this subject.

“I still hope that the hotel problem brought to us by Mr. Max Goldsmith will take such shape that England and we can join hands in that.

“Mr. Singer will bring us the latest reports about Palestine and I have discussed Palestinian matters with Mr. Sokolow, Mr. Van Vriesland, the engineer Lowenstein, Sir Alfred Mond, and Judge Mack, and have corresponded by cable and letter with Dr. Weizmann, Col. Kisch, Dr. Magnes, Mr. Mohl and Mr. Singer, and the problem which needs attention in the near future seems to be the unemployment in Palestine. I know that Mr. Flexner and some of us are anxious to make some of the money set aside for Palestine available for that purpose if it can be done on a satisfactory, though unselfish basis.

“Let me go on to tell you about the future conditions in Europe and Russia and elsewhere, and what we will need in the way of funds to meet these requirements. To meet the drawings which will be made upon us and the expenditures for which we are committed from Oct. 1, 1926 through Dec. 31, 1926, we shall require approximately $9,000,000 net. You know that our budget for Russia is $2,000,000 a year. Dr. Kahn has requested for activities in Eastern Europe for 1927, another $2,900,000. Of this he has asked $600,000 for reconstruction, $500,000 for child care, $250,000 for medical work, $500,000 for cultural work, $750,000 for emergency relief or reconstructive work in Poland, $200,000 for refugees and $100,000 for miscellaneous work. There are large balances still to be drawn on the appropriations which I have previously reported for 1926. These undrawn balances total approximately $2,000,000. We must give the Palestine Economic Corpartion $500,000 in 1927. This accounts for the $7.500,000 of the $9,000,000 required, if we are to meet the requests which have been made of us for work through 1927. The differences will be needed to cover other appropriations during 1927. such as those for the Ort, for cultural work requested by Dr. Adler, for medical and orphan and emergency work in Palestine, etc.


“The financial records show the following disbursments as of September 30th, against appropriations made since the inception of the new campaign for the Russian activities–both Agrojoint and relief: During the latter part of 1925, $500,000; in 1926, $1,610,000–making a total of $2,110,000

For the activities in Eastern Europe, approximately $947,000

For cultural activities in Eastern Europe and in Palestine, approximately 338,000

For the Palestine Orphan Committee 30,000

For the Ort activities in Russia, approximately 20,000

For the Ort activities in Europe, approximately 5,000

Thus making a total expended this year to date of about $3,450,000

“In addition, payments have been made since the convention in Philadelphia last year against old commitments of the Joint Distribution Committee, incurred prior to the new campaign, collections totalling about $815,000. Among these, you will recall, was the activity of the Nurses’ Training School in Warsaw, of which we have heard high praise from all sides, the Malaria Research Unit work in Palestine, the carrying out of the program of the American Joint Reconstruction Foundation, the continuance of the refugee work through the Emergency Refugee Committee, etc,” Mr. Warburg stated.

Paul Baerwald submitted a statement showing that the Joint Distribution Committee has on hand at present less than $400,000, making it necessary for the Committee to incur a loan in notes, and receive almost $2,000,000 in collections throughout the country before the end of this year.

In his report Joseph C. Hyman, Secretary of the United Jewish Campaign, declared that 1,200 campaigns have been held and that 500 more are to be held this Fall. Four million one hundred and forty thousand dollars have been received in cash up to the present. The expenditure of the United Jewish Campaign in the administration and fund raising activities amounted to one and eight-tenths per cent of the $15,000,000 subscribed.

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