277, 000 Jews Aided by Joint Distribution Committee in 29 Countries
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277, 000 Jews Aided by Joint Distribution Committee in 29 Countries

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A total of 277, 000 men, women and children were aided by the Joint Distribution Committee in 29 countries last year, it was reported today by Moses A. Leavitt, JDC executive vice-chairman, in the annual report of the organization for 1962. The number of Jews aided was 25,500 greater than in the previous year. The sum of $28,544, 000 was spent by the JDC for its 1962 activities. The 1963 budget of the JDC is $30, 769,000.

The increase in the number of Jews aided was due largely to the influx into France of 100,000 Jewish refugees from Algeria, Mr. Leavitt reported. “Once again, in 1962, the ‘unexpected’ happened. The mass exodus of Algerian Jews to France, as well as the continued influx of Jews from other areas into that country, meant that help had to be provided for thousands of men, women and children for whom there was no provision in JDC’s budget for 1962. It meant that–since only limited additional funds were available to JDC–funds had to be taken from one area of need to be used in an area of greater need, ” he said.

Additional thousands of Jewish refugees made their way to France from other parts of North Africa and from Eastern Europe, Mr. Leavitt said, “Suddenly the French Jewish community found that it had grown to more than 500, 000–the fourth largest Jewish community in the world, exceeded only by the United States, the Soviet Union and Israel. “

In a foreword to the report, Edward M.M. Warburg, JDC chairman, noted that fortunately for JDC and for the thousands of refugees who needed help, the Jews of France and other European countries undertook special emergency fund-raising campaigns on their behalf. “Despite the help of the French Government, the need of the refugees for additional assistance was extensive, ” he declared.


Although JDC continues to receive the bulk of its finances from the United Jewish Appeal, Mr. Leavitt noted a substantial allocation from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, to be used for the relief and rehabilitation of Nazi victims. He also reported the receipt of smaller sums contributed by Jewish communities in Canada, Latin America and by a number of governmental and inter-governmental agencies.

JDC aid in 1962 went to more than 98, 000 needy Jews in Moslem areas, close to 90, 000 in Europe, 84, 000 in Israel and 6, 000 in other areas, including Australia, and Central and South America. This included cash relief for 42,130, a feeding program benefiting 84,860, medical aid to 37,885, assistance to 2,510 in homes for children and youngsters and to 4, 990 in homes for the aged, support to schools with 59,160 students and support of cultural and religious programs serving 38, 355.

Approximately 89,000 Jews received aid in Europe, the largest number–56,000 in France. In Poland, JDC aid reached 12,000 of the 25, 000 Jews who still remain in that country. JDC aid also went to smaller but still significant numbers in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Greece, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Yugoslavia.

The greatest number of JDC’s beneficiaries were in the Moslem countries, most of them in North Africa, Mr. Leavitt reported. As in past years, Jews in Morocco continued to require extensive JDC aid; 60,000 Jews there benefited in 1962, compared with 67, 000 in 1961, JDC also aided over 1, 900 in Algeria, 13, 000 in Tunisia and 21, 500 in Iran.

Mr. Leavitt noted that of the 84, 000 men, women and children assisted in Israel during 1962, close to 50, 000 were aided by Malben, the JDC welfare program on behalf of aged, ill and handicapped newcomers to Israel. During the year, Malben continued to stress extra-mural care, giving priority within institutions to bedridden cases. As a result, Malben’s institutional caseload decreased from 5,475 at the beginning of the year to 5,025 in December, a drop of 450 during the twelve month period.

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