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Louis Marshall Appeals to American Jews for United Jewish Campaign

March 23, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Benjamin Winter contributed $50,000 to the United Jewish campaign for $15,000,000, it was announced by William Fox, New York City chairman of the drive.

In a letter accompanying the gift Mr. Winter said :

"I shall always want to share what prosperity. I have with others who have less, because I think it is the duty of every man to give a helping hand on the road.’ Through some fate the traveling is easier for some than for others, but we are all sharers in the same human journey–all fellow-travelers, and if suffering or misfortune comes to the one or the other, a lift with the burden is the least his mates can do."

The Brooklyn Jewish community is expected to raise $1,200,000 as their share in the $6,000,000 fund which the United Jewish Campaign of Greater New York is endeavoring to raise, according to an announcement made by Mr. Fox, following a conference with David A. Brown, national chairman, Felix M. Warburg, Louis Marshall, David M. Bressler and Judge Grover M. Moscowitz, chairman of the Brooklyn Division. Brooklyn’s quota is the largest ever sought in that borough for a Jewish cause.

In a letter to Judge Moscowitz, made public yesterday, Mr. Marshall wrote:

"Today the Jews of America are confronted with a task of unusual seriousness. It relates to the tragic plight of the Jews of Eastern Europe–a situation which calls for prompt action by warm hearts and willing hands. During the Campaign of 1922, which resulted in the collection of $15,000,000 it was believed that with that sum our efforts for constructive relief would solve all existing problems and render future appeals for help unnecessary. These expectations would have been realized under normal circumstances. Unfortunately, however, economic disasters which could not have been foreseen have made it imperative to come once more to the rescue.

"The Jews of America, by their generosity, have literally saved the lives of their brethren and have filled them with hope and ambition. Within the past year, however, new misfortunes have overwhelmed them, so that today they are again threatened with absolute ruin, with famine, and with the destruction of their cultural life. Help must not be deferred. Unless it comes speedily it will be too late.

"These conditions exist in every part of Poland, in Roumania, Lithuania and Latvia, in Russia and in the Ukraine. In some of these countries the Jews have suffered not only from the general economic depression which exists there, but also from the pressure of a boycott, of anti-Semitic propaganda, and of discriminatory regulations. We have made a careful survey of conditions through the most reliable agencies and are confident that if American Jewry will again respond we can still enable our stricken brethren to bridge over the coming three years, with every prospect that at the end of that period the present untoward conditions will be righted and a normal life will be restored.

"The $15,000,000 which we are seeking to gather will be distributed among the Jews of these several countries, through their own responsible organizations, and for Palestine, and according to a budget calculated to do justice to all. Our object will be to enable them to help themselves. We will also have to render emergency assistance. We cannot permit these suffering human beings to die of starvation. It must be remembered that 8,000,000 human beings are in jeopardy–3,500,000 in Poland, 3,000,000 in Russia, 1,000,000 in Roumania, and at least half a million in adjoining countries.

"We have not been indifferent to Palestine. In addition to the $7,500,000 which we have hitherto expended there, we have appropriated $1,500,000 for economic development in that country.

"We have appropriated $4,500,000 to enable the Jews of Russia to engage in agriculture upon lands freely set apart for that purpose by the Government The demand for this opportunity comes directly from the Jews, who believe that it is the only certain method for their re-establishment. Our plans are not haphazard. During the past three years we have successfully demonstrated their practicability. More than 3,000,000 additional acres are available, upon which we hope, if the means are forth coming, to place at least 30,000 families. The opportunity is one which will never again be presented. We are confident that it will bring a new light into the lives of Russian Jewry. I repeat that we are acting in accordance with their desires, and not upon any superimposed theory. The ablest experts regard this venture with enthusiasm. There need be no fear that our Government regards it with hostility. We have every .assurance that it will not. Nor need there be the slightest fear that the Jews who will thus engage in agriculture are running any risks of persecution. On the contrary, they will be safer on the farm than in the over-crowded city, where they are helpless. Nor need there be any concern that they will be driven from the land which they are cultivating so long as they remain upon it as farmers. It is safer to say that whatever form of government Russia may ultimately have the farmer will be more secure than any other part of the population.

"I cannot conceive how it is possible for any American Jew to stand aloof at this critical moment. This is not a matter of politics or of nationality or of theory. It is one of elemental humanity, of fraternal sympathy, and of religious obligation. We must help these sufferers where they now live. It would be preposterous to ask them to go elsewhere in order to seek assistance. They have not the means to do so, and all the money that we could collect would not enable us, even if they were willing to embark on the adventure, to move more than a comparative handful. The doors of America are closed to them, as are those of Western Europe. We cannot, therefore, waste time in debate lest they die whilst we are discussing. We owe a sacred duty which must not be shirked. If they perish because help is not forthcoming, the blame will rest upon American Jewry.

"There has never been a time when the Jews of this country have been as prosperous as they are today. They do not know what hunger and physical suffering and misery mean. They have not only the necessaries of life, but they are enjoying the luxuries. They will never miss the most generous gifts that they are capable of making. If they do their duty, they will have the satisfaction of preserving the lives of men, women and children who have the same right to live as they have. What we are asking from Brooklyn is, after all, a mere pittance compared with the accumulated wealth of the Jews of that Borough. It is merely to contribute $1,200,000 in three installments of $400,000 annually during 1926, 1927 and 1928. They certainly will not turn a deaf ear to the cries that are resounding from across the sea."

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