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Plan Jewish Relief Committee to Provide Food, Other Aid, to Needy Biafrans

July 19, 1968
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Plans to establish a Jewish Relief Committee to mobilize food and other urgent aid for Biafra, the breakaway eastern province of Nigeria where starvation is rampant, was announced here by Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum, national director of inter-religious affairs of the American Jewish Committee, with headquarters in New York.

Rabbi Tanenbaum told an audience at a Marquette University summer institute that steps are being taken to help organize a group of Jewish rabbinic and lay leaders in an ad hoc body to mobilize food and medical supplies as well as financial resources “to aid on a humanitarian basis the helpless victims of starvation and civil war between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Biafra.”

Rabbi Tanenbaum stressed that the effort was being made without any Judgements on the political issues between Nigeria and Biafra. But, he said, “more than enough is already known about the agonizing hunger, human tragedies and large-scale deaths amounting to genocide to allow us to remain silent and inactive one more hour.” Rabbi Tanenbaum said that he had begun conversations with a number of Jewish men who are food producers and manufacturers of medicine. He said they were anxious to make contributions through an organized Jewish agency.

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