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Repercussions of a Campaign That Did Not Go “over the Top”

February 21, 1928
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(News Letter from Baltimore)

When the $750,000 campaign of the United Jewish Appeal, embracing the United Jewish Campaign and the United Palestine Appeal, failed to “go over the top” by more than $200,000 last month, it was the first time in many years that Jews of Baltimore faltered in their generosity.

Many of the leaders in the drive, which was conducted to obtain funds for three years-1928, 1929 and 1930-were greatly disappointed that the campaign was not altogether a complete success.

In commenting on the appeal and mentioning the campaign of the Philadelphia Federation of Jewish Charities, which, in a drive to raise $1,600,000, obtained a total of $1,657,250 in subscriptions, the Har Sinai Bulletin, in a recent issue, stated:

“It is true that the Philadelphia Jewish community may outnumber that of Baltimore, but the tendency of many of our Baltimore Jews of good or moderate circumstances to give half-heartedly to philanthropic enterprises is speedily losing for our city the prestige it once had. The recent United Jewish Appeal was only another step downward. It is rather incumbent upon Baltimore Jewry to vindicate itself in the near future.”

The bulletin is published weekly by the Har Sinai Congregation, of which Dr. Edward L. Israel is rabbi.

Either the latter part of this year or early in 1929 the Associated Jewish Charities will have to conduct a campaign for funds, according to H Joseph Hyman, its executive director.

BALTIMORE JEWS NUMBER 65,000

The Jewish community of Baltimore, 65,000 strong, until the last campaign was one of the outstanding in per capita giving. In contributing more than $400,000 annually to the Associated Jewish Charities, they have set a per capita rate of approximately $6.50, which is considered unusually high when the same rate for Jews in other large cities is reported around $1.25. Contributors to the Jewish Charities here number about 8,000.

“We must have a campaign soon,” Mr. Hyman said. “Our funds are very low, our budget being about $450,000, an increase of $50,000 over last year. The completion of the new Sinai Hospital drained our resources considerably, while many other new expenditures also have appeared.”

The last campaign conducted by the Jewish Charities was in April, 1924.

A proposal that the Associated Jewish Charities become affiliated with the Community Fund which takes care of 32 agencies was put forward It is, however, meeting with strong opposition. It is stated that the existence of social barriers is a prominent feature in the discusion.

The younger Jewish element especially is looking forward with interest to the new Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association building, ground for which is expected to be broken in May or June. The entire project, including land and construction, will represent an investment of more than $800,000, it is said. Baltimore never has had a real Y. M. H. A. The new structure, therefore, will fill a much-needed want for Baltimore Jews.

Plans of Zionists for the year will be announced at the Sixth Annual Zionist Conference of the Seaboard Region, including Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, to be held February 26 and 27 in Richmond, Va. Some of the leading figures in the Zionist movement in America are expected to attend the gathering, among these being Louis Lipsky and Morris Rothenberg, of New York. Communities in the region that have not held campaigns this year for the United Palestine Appeal will be assigned their quotas and dates at the conference.

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