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U.J.A. National Conference Proclaims 1960 Drive; Raised $69,300,000 in 1959

December 14, 1959
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A total of $69,300,000 in cash has been raised to date by the United Jewish Appeal in 1959, it was announced today at the closing session of the UJA’s three-day Annual National Conference at the Statler-Hilton hotel, attended by 1,500 American Jewish community leaders from all parts of the nation.

The announcement came as delegates to the Conference presented checks representing millions of dollars in community contributions, at the closing session, elected officers for the forthcoming year, and set plans for carrying out the 1960 campaign effort.

The cash total announced at today’s session represents proceeds on both the UJA’s regular drive, and the UJA Special Fund, undertaken in 1959 to cope with an immigration emergency occurring in the early part of the year. At an earlier session of the Conference, delegates voted to seek a similar additional fund in 1960, over and above the regular campaign, in order to speed up the lagging processes of integration in behalf of 350,000 unabsorbed immigrants in Israel.

At today’s session, delegates re-elected Morris W. Berinstein, philanthropist and business leader, to his third successive term as UJA general chairman, to lead its 22nd yearly campaign. The delegates also elected Sol Luckman, of Cincinnati, as UJA honorary national chairman, Fred Forman, of Rochester, and Philip M. Klutznick, of Chicago, as UJA national chairmen, and Melvin Dubinsky, of St. Louis, as chairman of the National Campaign Cabinet.

The Conference passed a resolution calling on communities throughout the country to undertake to organize their local campaigns early. The formal fund-raising on a national scale will commence at a National Inaugural Conference of the UJA to be held in Miami on February 7.


Former Senator Herbert H. Lehman, addressing the delegates said that “the United Jewish Appeal has come to be synonymous with our concern for freedom, peace and humanitarianism as Americans and Jews.” He urged American Jews to give fullest support to the UJA.

Senator Lehman, who participated in the beginnings of the United Jewish Appeal more than two decades ago when it was formed to help rescue Jews threatened by the rise of Nazism, said that he had “known the UJA from the time it was a mere idea–a dream. The UJA has since developed into “an organization whose purpose involves nearly the whole of American Jewry,” he declared. He praised Israel’s acceptance of nearly a million refugees in 11 years. “Israel looms large in the deliberations of American Jews because it stands today as the one oasis in the vast desert of world indifference to the plight of refugees,” he said.

Mr. Berinstein, UJA general chairman who summarized the work of the United Jewish Appeal in 1959, noted that in the year just completed the UJA, through its beneficiary agencies, had helped a total of 600,000 persons of whom 391,000 were in Israel, 105,000 in Moslem countries, 57,000 in Europe, 5,000 in the United States and 5,000 others in various other countries around the world. Mr. Berinstein added that some 37,000 other persons had received relief in transit.

Mr. Berinstein said that this help had been made possible only because “American Jews are determined to help their fellow Jews to achieve some kind of life and dignity, wherever they may be. We in America, blessed as we are with personal freedom and economic security, have an obligation to see to it that all Jews in distress or difficulty, whether it be political, social or economic, are helped in their time of trouble. Our instrument by which we can meet this obligation is the United Jewish Appeal.”

Edward M.M. Warburg, UJA honorary chairman and chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, presided at last night’s dinner meeting. In the course of the dinner, specially mounted silver menorahs were presented for outstanding service to Fred Forman, of Rochester, who has been chairman of the UJA national campaign Cabinet for the last three years, and to Sol Luckman, of Cincinnati, a 1959 United Jewish Appeal national chairman for the same period.

Israel Ambassador Harman, principal speaker at the dinner, stressed that in accepting nearly a million refugees in 11 years, the Israel Government has given utmost consideration to the humanitarian aspects of this immigration. He declared that “Israel has permitted thousands of persons to be brought in that other countries would normally reject as immigrant–active tuberculosis cases, physically handicapped persons and large numbers of aged people.”


Ambassador Harman estimated that “one out of every ten immigrants” who came to Israel’s shores in the last 11 years was an outright social case, “an immediate burden on the humanitarian agencies which made possible his immigration, and on the Government of Israel. In all we received 132,000 social cases out of an immigration of 950,000 persons,” he said.

Praising the “magnificent job of human rehabilitation performed by the United Israel Appeal and the Joint Distribution Committee,” the Ambassador noted that both humanitarian organizations “operate with funds raised by the United Jewish Appeal.” He said that “a great job” had been done by these organizations in financing the transfer and absorption of these newcomers to Israel, but indicated that the philanthropic funds they received had not been enough to meet the total housing and absorption needs of Israel’s immigrants.

Earlier yesterday, Conference delegates heard reports on the work of the Joint Distribution Committee at an informal session presided over by William Rosenwald, UJA national chairman. Speakers at the session included Moses A. Leavitt, JDC executive vice-chairman, Charles H. Jordan, director general of JDC’s overseas operation; Louis D. Horwitz, director general of Malben, JDC’s welfare organization in Israel, and Samuel Haber of JDC’s Geneva headquarters.

At the closing session today, at which Joseph Meyerhoff, of Baltimore, a national chairman of the UJA presided, the delegates also heard from: Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, executive vice-chairman of the UJA, Mrs. Jack A. Goodman, of Indianapolis, chairman of the National Women’s Division of the UJA, and Elkan R. Myers, of Baltimore, a member of the UJA National Campaign Cabinet. Mr. Meyerhoff told the delegates that 600,000 people will look to the United Jewish Appeal for help in 1960 through its beneficiary bodies.


Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, UJA executive vice-chairman, declared that “despite the great achievements of Israel’s people in taking in nearly one million refugees in 11 years, one out of every three of these newcomers still lack the basic requirements of decent and civilized living.”

The UJA executive vice-chairman told the audience that American Jews have “no right to sleep one night in peace if we don’t take advantage of the pause in the flow of immigration to clean up the vast pile of needs of newcomers whom we have already brought to the country.” He added, “we brought them there with high hopes, and helped to give them freedom. It is morally indecent if we do not fulfill their hopes for a new, more secure and fuller future.”

Dewey D. Stone, UJA national chairman, told the delegates that their decisions “will affect the destiny of tens of thousands of our fellow Jews. They look to us, the Jews of America, blessed with freedom and prosperity, to help them get a new start in life. Let us make the right decision–the decision that they shall get that new start,” he urged.

Melvin Dubinsky, UJA cash chairman, who was one of the members of the recent UJA Overseas Study Mission, reported on the European section of the survey made by the 115 American Jewish community leaders who made the trip. He noted that there is still a flow of emigration from certain countries in Europe, and that at “all costs American Jews must supply the funds–through the UJA–to help transfer all who want to, and who are able to–go to Israel, and other lands.”

The Conference was also addressed by Dr. Dov Joseph, treasurer of the Jewish Agency, who told the audience that the successful integration of all the refugees who have come to Israel since 1948 would have called for an expenditure of at least $400,000,000 beyond what the Agency received during that time from voluntary sources, including the United Jewish Appeal.

The following were re-elected as national officers: Senator Herbert H. Lehman, honorary general chairman; Edward M.M. Warburg, honorary chairman; Joseph Holtzman, honorary national chairman; Samuel Rubin, honorary special fund chairman; William Rosenwald, national chairman representing the JDC; Dewey D. Stone, national chairman, representing the UIA; Samuel Daroff, Albert A. Levin, Joseph Meyerhoff, and Jack Weiler, national chairmen.

Also re-elected were: Max Fisher and Joseph M. Mazer, Special Fund chairmen; Joseph I. Lubin and Jacob Simcoff, national co-treasurers; Robert W. Schiff, Big Gifts chairman; Benjamin Swig. Big Gifts chairman; Isadore Breslau, allocations chairman, and Moses A; Leavitt, secretary. Mrs. Jack Goodman was re-elected chairman of the National Women’s Division.

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