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JDC Spent $24,9 Million in 1971 to Aid 320,000 Needy Jews; 42% of Total Allocated to Israel

June 9, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Joint Distribution Committee spent $24.9 million in 1971 to assist 320,000 needy Jews all over the world but over 42 percent of the total was allocated to Israel, a reflection of that country’s growing needs, Samuel L. Haber, executive vice president of the JDC, said in the international relief agency’s annual report released here yesterday. The JDC’s expenditures in Israel aided 103,000 persons, mostly through the JDC-Malben program, Haber said.

He disclosed that the JDC aided 163,000 Jews in Eastern and Western Europe during 1971; 44,000 In North Africa, Iran and other Moslem countries; and about 10,000 in such countries as Australia, China, India and South America. The report noted that the JDC has spent close to $963 million since its inception in 1914 in humanitarian endeavors encompassing 75 countries. The bulk of its funds are derived from the United Jewish Appeal.

In an introductory message, Edward Ginsberg of Cleveland, JDC chairman, characterized the organization as “a unique humanitarian endeavor.” A general chairman of the UJA for four years before he was elected JDC chairman last Nov., Ginsberg referred to his field trips directly after World War II which took him to DP camps in Europe and the Jewish ghettos in Arab and Moslem countries. The JDC, he said. “Is staffed by devoted and dedicated men and women.”

Jack D. Weller, chairman of the JDC’s national council, said in another message appended to the annual report that “During this past year, the situation of many Jewish communities and individual Jews has deteriorated, due to political and economic developments.” He said the best way the 10,000 national council members in the US and Canada could help JDC was to strengthen their federation and welfare fund campaigns which help finance the JDC programs.


The JDC report disclosed that $8.3 million was spent in Israel during 1971 for the care of the aged, chronically ill and handicapped; diagnosis and treatment of handicapped children; mental health services; socio-medical programs; and manpower development. Over $900,000 went to aid religious schools and over $1.3 million helped finance ORT vocational training programs in Israel. Haber reported that, in continuation of JDC support for cultural and religious institutions in Israel, the JDC gave financial help to 145 yeshivahs with an enrollment of 19,600 students in 1971. JDC also provided relief grants to refugee rabbis and subsidies for research and publication projects, teacher training and fellowships. Haber said some 8,000 students also received vocational training in JDC-supported ORT schools, in addition to their yeshiva studies.

About 75 percent of the JDC funds allocated to seven Western European countries in 1971–over $1.5 million–was spent in France, Haber reported. “Were it not for the substantial influx of immigrants from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia in the past decade, the French Jewish community would undoubtedly have been financially self-supporting by this time,” he said. The JDC programs in France included grants to nearly 4000 needy persons, about half of them newcomers from North Africa. Altogether, JDC programs in France aided about 56,000 persons, the report said. The report noted the decline of the Jewish population in North African countries from about 650,000 before World War II to no more than 50,000 today. Of these, nearly 21,000 were beneficiaries of JDC programs in 1971, the report said. In the Middle East, about 20,000 out of an Iranian Jewish population of 75,000, were aided by the JDC. Most of the JDC monies spent in Arab and Moslem countries went for education and care of children and young people.

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