13,000 Jewish Orphans in Poland Need J.D.C. Aid, U.j.c. Reports Indicate
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13,000 Jewish Orphans in Poland Need J.D.C. Aid, U.j.c. Reports Indicate

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The number of orphan children toward whose support the Joint Distribution Committee will have to contribute in Poland alone during the year 1928 will be from 13,000 to 14,000, according to reports recently received by David A. Brown, National Chairman of the United Jewish Campaign. Even though the Union of Jewish Orphan Committees, in which all the elements of Polish Jewry are represented, is taking immediate care of the children and provides about 50 per cent of the budget, the Joint Distribution Committee will have to furnish the other 50 per cent of the funds necessary for the maintenance, health preservation, and the general Jewish and trade education of these children.

The reports received by Mr. Brown show that on July 1, 1927, the Union of Orphan Committees operated in 317 localities, and, with 51,843 dues-paying members throughout Poland, had under its care 14,847 orphans. In the course of the following three months, 1,114 children left the institutions, having either become self-supporting or having been taken by relatives. During the same period, 187 new children had to be added to the lists so that by October 1, 1927, the total number of orphans being cared for was 13,920. On the basis of these figures, the average for this year can be estimated at not less than 13,000.

Of this total, only 4,566 were maintained in the 117 institutions, the rest, under the supervision of the committees, were placed with relatives or with families in private homes.

For the present, a larger number of orphans will be cared for in private homes than will be provided for in institutions.

Of the total 13,920 children, 9,920 are attending schools. Three thousand three hundred and ninety children attend the Government school. Over a thousand children are receiving their training in Yiddish schools and the remainder are divided among Hebrew schools of the Tarbuth type and the old type Chedorim and Talmud Torahs. Of the children not attending school, 1,100 are under school age; 3,268 are youngsters who are receiving their general education along with their trade or manual instruction; and a number of children are unable to attend school because of sickness.

The number of children who are of an age to learn a trade, far exceeds the actual number of students in the trade schools, and over 1,600 children have no access to the schools. Many of them get their trade education with priate masters, but there is still a considerable number for whom no facilities for learning a trade are available. The immediate future of these children is dependent upon the extension of the trade school system throughout Poland. To this matter the Joint Distribution Committee’s European office is directing its attention.

During these last three years, the report states, 2,811 children have become self-supporting and are now making a living as productive young members of their communities.



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