J.D.C. Holds Annual Meeting Today; Will Discuss Jewish Needs Abroad
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J.D.C. Holds Annual Meeting Today; Will Discuss Jewish Needs Abroad

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Jewish needs in 30 countries around the world will be reviewed tomorrow at the 52nd annual meeting of the Joint Distribution Committee which will be attended by 400 Jewish communal leaders from all parts of the United States and Canada.

Louis Broido, JDC chairman, will review the organization’s relief and rehabilitation activities during 1966, stressing the highlights and shortcomings of the JDC program, especially the handicaps resulting from the cut of about 25 percent in the JDC income. The loss in income resulted from the ending of West German reparations grants which averaged some $7,000,000 annually from 1955 through 1964.

Charles H. Jordan, JDC executive vice-chairman and director-general, will present and explain the budget which will provide for a wide range of health, welfare and rehabilitation services for needy Jews abroad. Following the adoption of the budget it will be submitted to the National Conference of the United Jewish Appeal which will convene the following day and continue through Sunday. The delegates will also elect officers for the coming year.

In a report on JDC aid during 1966, prepared for submission to the annual meeting, Mr. Jordan emphasized that “it was an unhappy year — a year in which the JDC found itself without enough funds to provide help for all those who needed help.” He pointed out that the JDC helped 25,000 fewer people in 1966 than in 1965.

“In 1966 JDC aid went to only 387,000,” Mr. Jordan reported. “Approximately the same funds were available as in 1965; but the inflationary spiral in almost every country of the world raised the cost of goods and services to JDC beyond the stretching point. In the face of mounting financial problems, JDC was forced to make difficult, sometimes dangerous, decisions — to cut back services, to eliminate entire programs.”

“Thus, ” Mr. Jordan continued, “JDC no longer finances local Jewish communities in Norway and Germany; in Austria, aid goes almost solely to transients from Eastern Europe; in Italy, in addition to transients, only four small communities get help; even in Poland, France, Greece, Belgium and Sweden, allocations have been cut. There is a further tragic note: the only development which has prevented even further and greater cuts is the slowing of Jewish migration during 1966, which meant that JDC had to support fewer refugees in the three main stop-over countries — Austria, France and Italy.”

The effect of increasing financial pressures upon JDC is reflected most graphically in Malben, the JDC welfare program on behalf of aged, ill and handicapped newcomers to Israel, the JDC leader stressed. “Due to a series of stop-gap measures, JDC was able to postpone the inevitable during 1965,” he reported. In 1966, even stop-gap measures were not enough. In 1965 Malben aid reached 50,565; in 1966 Malben aided only 37,455, a drop of 13,110. The major cause of the additional pressure on Malben in 1966 was the increased cost of institutional care.

Mr. Jordan concluded his report with the expression of hope that the American Jewish Community would, through the United Jewish Appeal, provide in the coming year enough aid “to give life and a future to those who depend upon us.”

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