The decision of the World Jewish Congress to embark on a $10,000,000 fund-raising campaign for relief and increased political activity throughout the world should not be considered a challenge to other Jewish organizations. Dr. Stephen S. Wise and Dr. Nahum Goldmann, Congress leaders, announced last night at the closing session of the organization’s War Emergency Conference. The move should not be interpreted as an indication that the Congress will not make maximum efforts to secure coordination of activities with other major organizations, they also emphasized.
Dr. Wise revealed that he intends “to spend much time” in Latin American countries to help in the raising of funds there for the campaign. He also announced that Dr. Goldmann will visit India for the same purpose. Dr. Moises Goldmann, leader of the Argentine delegation and S. Sydney Silverman, leader of the British delegation, told the conference that they would support the campaign. A. B. Bennet, announced the Canadian delegation would not assume any obligations with regard to the $10,000,000 campaign, and were leaving the decision to the convention of the Canadian Jewish Congress which will meet next month in Toronto.
The resolution authorizing the Congress to raise $10,000,000 in 1945 said that a governing council, composed of representatives of the major contributing affiliates, is to be set up as the body “responsible for all plans attending the raising and expenditure of all funds for reconstruction and rehabilitation.” Dr. Goldmann announced from the platform that no quotas have been assigned as yet to each member country and that such quotas will be assigned by the governing council.
The closing session of the conference also adopted a resolution recommending that the Congress establish a “Department of Community Service” which would be charged with aiding in the reconstruction of the spiritual and cultural life of Jews in liberated countries. Another resolution extended the gratitude of the gathering to the Vatican and to the Governments of Spain, Sweden and Switzerland” for the protection they offered under difficult conditions to the persecuted Jews in German-dominated Europe. At the same time, it expressed regret at the fact that “deplorably little has been done to have Axis civilians under the power of the United Nations exchanged for Jews in ghettos, internment, concentration and labor camps.”
The resolution on indemnification, read by Dr. Noah Barou of London, outlined Jewish demands for retribution and for restitution of property and proposed that an International Jewish Reconstruction Commission and national reconstruction commissions in the countries concerned, working in cooperation with it, shall be established and vested with all the powers necessary to procure the right to and payment of indemnification to the Jewish people, Jewish bodies and individuals.
“Property and rights belonging to Jewish communities, organizations, funds trusts, and other institutions which have ceased to exist, and to Jewish families considered extinguished, shall be declared to belong to the International Jewish Reconstruction Commission directly, or, whenever and as long as an appropriate national commission exists and requests this, through such national commission,” the resolution reads. “The International Jewish Reconstruction Commission shall use all the funds at its final disposal directly or through the national commissions in the respective countries for rehabilitation of European Jews and their communities, and through the Jewish Agency for Palestine for the development of Palestine as the Jewish Commonwealth.
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.