Action on Vital Aspects of Jewish Life in U.S. and Abroad Mapped by Cjfwf Assembly
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Action on Vital Aspects of Jewish Life in U.S. and Abroad Mapped by Cjfwf Assembly

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A program of action covering vital aspects of Jewish life in the United States and Jewish interests in Europe and Palestine was outlined today in a series of resolutions adopted by the 15th annual General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, which will conclude its four-day meeting here tomorrow.

The Assembly expressed its concern at the “strict military discipline that has been imposed in Palestine in the past few days.” It also voiced “strong objections to the continued delay in the admission of thousands of refugees who anxiously look to Palestine as their only hope for rehabilitation.”

The General Assembly went on record as “voicing the hope that the vigorous measures now in effect in Palestine will be immediately relaxed.” It urged the government of Great Britain to take immediate steps for the entry into Palestine “of the fullest number” of Jewish survivors.

The Assembly also urged that the government of the United States “immediately open the doors of this country to admit a maximum number of European refugees and displaced persons by expediting the activity of the American consulates in various countries, thereby setting an example to the rest of the countries of the world to take similar action.”

Other resolutions adopted recommend that:

1. All Jewish communities in the United States meet to the fullest measure of their resources their full responsibility to the many needs of Jews at home and abroad in 1947.

2. The coordination developed through the United Jewish Appeal be extended to include other agencies in related fields, so that the maximum degree of effectiveness in national planning and national fund raicing can be achieved for the benefit of the community and for the benefit of the persons who are being saved.

3. Jewish national organizations which are planning capital fund projects should develop their campaigns only with the greatest of care and in consultation with the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds and the community. Organizations contemplating such campaigns should submit to the Council detailed reports on their project and the Council, after thorough study of the proposal, should report its findings to the community.


The Assembly also adopted a resolution expressing “grave concern with the multiplicity of individual campaigns by national and overseas agencies taking place in our local community.” The resolution recommends that the Council take “suitable action to bring about more effective coordination of these appeals either through inclusion or through clearance with the local community organization.”

Paying high tribute to the work of the Joint Distribution Committee, Charles P. Taft, chairman of the State Department Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid, told the Assembly today that the services of private relief agencies for needy persons in Europe will be required at the present rate for at least five years.

Taft warned the delegates not to discount the feeling of some members of Congress that, with the housing shortage what it is no displased persons should be admitted to this country. “A real presentation of facts is needed as well as the competence of welcoming agencies to educate and absorb the newcomers,” he said. “I have faith in Congress, if such a presentation is made on the widest basic of realistic and intelligent good will.” Emphasizing that two-thirds of the displaced persons in Europe are not Jews, but Christians, he declared that no country except possibly Brazil has welcomed any of these refugees.


Dr. Nathan Reich, addressing the General Assembly on the position of the Jews in Europe, declared that in Western Europe conditions have become sufficiently stabilized to assume the continued existence of a Jewish community. However, the situation in Eastern Europe calls for “a two-fold program of basic relief during the present unsettled period coupled with a program for economic reconstruction,” he said.

Dr. Reich predicted that 1947 “will accelerate the emphasis on reconstruction as well as ultimate settlement.” At the same time, he pointed out that the long-range problem of reconstruction for European Jewry “admits of no simple solution” and will require “an elastic, varying approach” in line with varying economic and political conditiins.

A special session on cultural problem of American Jewry was addressed by Dr. Leo Srole, Professor of Sociology at Hobart College, Ralph Samuel of New York, Alan Lowenstein of Newark, Elliot D. Cohen of New York, editor of Commentary, Dr. Leo L. Honor of Philadelphia, and Rabbi Levi A. Olan of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Stanley C. Myers, who was re-elected president of the CJFWF, declared last night that American Jewry, which raised over $140,000,000 in 1946, will be asked to give more than ever before in its history to meet the unprecedented needs overseas and at home. He pointed out that the huge sum raised in the past year could not have been obtained were it not for the central Jewish community organizations — the federations, welfare funds and community councils.


Alan V. Lowenstein, chairman of the constitutional committee of the Jewish Community Council of Essex County, N.J., told the delegates that central Jewish structures in the United States have been evolving as part and parcel of the democratic way of life, indigenous to American soil, and were not merely the transplanting of European patterns of an estabilished culture. Citing democratic processes as the major guiding principle in the continuing development of central Jewish communal organizations, he said that this organization “must always remain open to all porsons who call themselves Jews and who wish to participate,no matter what Judaism might mean to any individual or group of individuals.”

A report on the life of Jews in DP camps was given at a luncheon yesterday by Herbert R. Abeles of Newark, who recently returned from a visit to the camps. He said that in many instances the displaced Jews live under sub-human conditions and that most of the 26,000 Jewish children in the camps suffer from malnutrition. “The situation of the displaced Jews, ” he reported, “is desperate because many of them feel that they will have to wait not months but years to find a place that they can truly call home,” he said.

Others who spoke at the luncheon included Moses A. Leavitt, executive chairman of the J.D.C., Joseph E. Beck, executive director of the United Service for New Americans, and Dr. Martin Rosenbluth, director of information of the United Palestine Appeal.

All the officers of the CJFWF, headed by Mr. Myers, were re-elected.

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