Millions in Dire Distress
Louis Marshall Denounces Apathy Toward Suffering of Co-Religionists
Jacob H. Schiff, Meyer London, and Dr. Enelow Plead with the Rich to Give
New York Times, January 14, 1915
Millions in Dire Distress
Louis Marshall, speaking at a meeting in Temple Emmanu-El last night, deplored what he termed the failure of the Jews of America, particularly of New York, to realize the terrible calamity that has overtaken the millions of Jews whose homes are in the Eastern Theatre of the European war.
The meeting was held in the interest of the American Jewish Relief Committee, of which committee Mr. Marshall is President. Besides Mr. Marshall, congressman-elect Meyer London, and the Rev. Dr. H. G. Enelow of Temple Emmanu-El spoke. Like Mr. Marshall, each deplored the fact that the Jews of America have not given the assistance they should to their suffering co-religionists. Further emphasis on the same subject was contained in a letter from Jacob H. Schiff, read by Mr. Marshall: “It is discouraging,” said Mr. Marshall, “to those who have devoted so much time and energy to this work that that there has been so small a response from Jews in New York, a city which is so great a Jewish centre. It seems to me that the people are so dazed by the European cataclysm that they are unable to realize that it is their duty to aid those who are suffering through the calamity.
In the world today there about 13 million Jews, of whom more than 6 million are in the very heart of the war zone; Jews whose lives are at stake and who today are subjected to every manner of suffering and sorrow, and the great American Jewish community is not doing its duty toward these sufferers. In the United States there are between 2 million and 3 million Jews, nearly all able to do something and yet, after months of work, we have not raised more than $300000. In New York there more than 1 million Jews, some of them persons of great affluence, but many of them seem to think if they give a few hundred dollars they have done their duty.
We hear of pogroms in Russia, in Poland, in Galicia, and yet we sit indifferent. In Palestine starvation stalks through the land. Shall we selfishly enjoy ourselves and say we would like to, but cannot help because of hard times and think we are doing our duty? No. The time has come for every man woman and child to do his duty, and we must fulfill that duty quickly or it may be too late in hundreds of thousands of cases.”
At this point Mr. Marshall read Mr. Schiff’s letter. Mr. Schiff said his own interest in the work was intense, and that it should appeal to every Jew. Private reports he has received, Mr. Schiff said, showed conditions in Russia, Palestine, Poland, and Galicia the frightful nature of which could not be pictured.
He said that the Emmanu-El congregation is the largest and wealthiest in the United States and hoped that its members would give in proportion to their means. He further suggested a committee to canvas the congregation for a Temple Emmanu-El fund, and said he would contribute. Mr. Marshall put the suggestion in the form of a motion which was unanimously carried. Mr. Marshall will name the committee soon.
Mr. London said this was the “worst period in Jewish history,” and that the saving of millions of Jewish people depended on the generosity of more fortunate Jews of the United States.
Dr. Enelow emphasized what Mr. Marshall had said and, added that never before were the Jews of this country confronted with so great a duty.
British Coreligionists Are Exhorted To Raise $5 Million To Succor Them
New York Times, November 1, 1915
London, Monday, Nov. 1. — At a meeting held here yesterday in behalf of the fund for the relief of Jewish victims of the war in Russia it was announced that 1.5 million Russian Jews were starving.
Leopold de Rothschild presided, and Lord Swaythling, Chief Rabbi Hertz, Israel Zangwill, and other prominent Jews were present.
Rabbi Hertz described the task before those raising the fund as vast and urgent. The response to the appeal for funds from the British Jews, he said, was not nearly adequate, mainly owing to their ignorance of the real state of affairs. For nearly a year there had been a sinister silence in the general press, broken only occasionally by a sneer at the Jews on the part of the preachers of race hatred and apologists for reaction. The Jews, he added, were face to face with a tragedy unparalleled in the history of Jewish agony.
The Petrograd authorities, Rabbi Hertz concluded, expected a million pounds ($5 million) from the British Jews, and only $300,000 had been raised. He said the present call was for sacrifice and and self-taxation.
Women and Children in Warsaw Starving to Death
New York Times, August 10, 1917
Through the intelligence Department of the Mayor’s Committee on National Defense, the Provisional Zionist Committee last night made public a letter describing the conditions among Jews in Warsaw under German rule. The name of the writer of the letter is not divulged for obvious reasons. The veracity and authenticity of the letter is vouched for by the Zionist Committee, of which Dr. Stephen S. Wise is Chairman, and Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis honorary chairman. The letter says, in part: “Death from starvation is a real fact. It is witnessed here all over, in every street, at every step, in every house. Jewish mothers, mothers of mercy, feel happy to see their nursing babies die; at least they are through with their suffering. Our wealthiest people cut off their daughters’ hair and sell it to be able to buy the indispensible things like bread for their dying children. Four and five-year old children have become so weak that they must be carried in the arms like babies. Fathers should they return from the battlefield will meet of their five and six children they kissed good-by when they left for the war two or probably one or more. How long yet will this suffering last? From where will our help come? A committee has been sent to Switzerland to maintain our soup kitchens, but I doubt the success of the mission. Help us, help us. Awaken, America. This is our only hope. Should America not aid us we will be lost.”
Felix M. Warburg Says That They Were The Worst Sufferers In War
New York Times, November 12, 1919
Felix M. Warburg, Chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for Jewish War Sufferers, who returned several days ago from a trip to Europe for that organization, made public yesterday some of hisd findings. “The successive blows of contending armies have all but broken the back of European Jewry,” he said, “and have reduced to tragically unbelievable poverty, starvation and disease about 6 million souls, or half the Jewish population of the earth. The Jewish people throughout Eastern Europe, by sheer accident of geography, have suffered more from the war than any other element of the population. The potential vitality and the capacity for self-help that remains to these people after the last five years is amazing to me. The people are deeply moved by the help given them by America, Mr. Warburg said, but it would be fatal to lessen the emergency aid now while millions are in tragic need. The $30 million spent by the committee, he said, has fed and clothed more than a million children and has renewed the hope of five million parents and elders. For more than four years,” he said, “The war on the Eastern front was fought largely in the congested centres of Jewish population. A straight north and south line from Riga, on the Baltic, to Salonika, on the Aegean Sea, will touch every important battle area of the Eastern war zone and every centre of Jewish population. After the cataclysm of the last few years it is too much to expect this Jewry to become self-sustaining in a short twelve-month.”
Mr. Warburg is concerned over the program soon to be started for the discontinuance of of emergency relief. This plan, he said, calls for the formation of a $10 million reconstruction corporation. “This organization,” he said, “would afford facilities for constructive aid to Jews abroad in the way of loans and credit at nominal interest rates. The value of this sort of assistance as a substitute for pure charity is apparent. Other relief projects recommended by Mr. Warburg include the establishment of an express company to forward money and packages from Jews in this country to relatives and friends abroad; the distribution of $120000 worth of fuel in sections of Poland where destitution is greatest; the purchase of $300000 worth of cloth in the bolt whereby unemployed workmen of Poland may get new material, and a plan to reunite those Jewish families that have relatives in the United States and those who have become separated abroad.
New York Times, April 21, 1920
Hitherto the Jews have financed their own philanthropies, and with a liberality and skill which has been universally recognized. In behalf of those of their religion who are still suffering in the war-ridden districts of Europe they are now for the first time seeking oustide aid. With the fate of Belgium and Serbia it was easy to sympathize. A nation’s territory was invaded and its citizens were making a united stand. The Jews have no fatherland, no means of uniting in the common defense. Yet from the outset, wherever the call came, they fought, and fought bravely, for the allied cause.
Meantime, in the widely scattered lands the folk at home suffered as perhaps those of no other people, and their suffering has has in many localities long outlasted the war.
In Europe there are today more than 5 million Jews who are starving or on the verge of starvation, and many are in the grip of a virulent typhus epidemic. An appeal has been issued throughout the world. The quota of New York City is $7.5 million. The drive will occupy the week of May 2-9, and will be based wholly upon the principle of sympathy and a common humanity.
Non-Sectarian Appeal For $7.5 Million Starts Today With Sermons In All Churches
Poland’s Woe Appalling
Campaign To Be Pressed By 10000 Active Workers In The Five Boroughs
New York Times, May 2, 1920
A famished child upon the auction block, a mother in the foreground pleading for aid, death with outstretched arms lurking near and the legend “Shall Death Be the Highest Bidder?”
Such is the pictorial representation of the needs of stricken peoples in the war-devastated zones of Central and Eastern Europe which will confront New Yorkers everywhere today. Back of that representation stands an organization designed to take advatage of every channel to press home to the people of this city the need for contributing toward the $7.5 million to be raised here this week by the Greater New York Appeal for Jewish War Sufferers.
This fund is but a tithe of that which must be subscribed in the entire country if disaster to whole peoples is to be averted. The world nature of the calamity, which has overtaken men, women and children, deprived not only of life’s bare necessities but of all means of rehabilitating themselves without aid from the outside, has led leading Jews of New York and the nation to turn to the public , irrespective of creed, for help. Heretofore the Jews themselves have contributed many many millions which have been expended by the Joint Distribution Committee through relief agencies of all countries and without regard to the religious beliefs of those in need. This time the burden is too gigantic to be borne by Jews alone.
A pen picture of actual conditions, typical of those in several countries, has been sent to the Campaign Committee by Dr. Boris H. Bogen of this city, now in Warsaw as head of the First Relief Unit, sent abroad by the Joint Distribution Committee. Dr. Bogen writes: “Hunger, cold rags, desolation, disease, death — Six million human beings without food, shelter, clothing or medical treatment in what now are but the wastes of once fair lands ravaged by long years of war or blighted by its consequences. That, in a few words is the actual situation in all those countries that constituted what was known during the conflict as the Eastern theatre of the war. Words cannot adequately convey nor can any picture be drawn which can bring home to comfortable, affluent, happy New Yorkers surrounded by their family and friends, riding in their automobiles, enjoying every luxury, the utter, abject, hopeless misery confronting the population of these lands, a population almost equal to that of New York City itself you would try to visualize, to realize the situation, place yourself at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Forty-second Street. The once teeming avenue is all but deserted. Gone are the gay equipages, their bejeweled occupants and liveried attendants. No longer are the sidewalks filled with a surging crowd of gayly dressed men and women. The street is all but still. Laughter and lively chatter are heard no more. Instead old men lean for support against the buildings. Mothers, with dying babes tugging vainly at their breasts sit along the curbs. The flower of what was once the young manhood and womanhood of the city is not in the picture, for they, by the thousands and tens of thousands, lie stricken in the over-crowded hospitals, laid low by the breath of a pestilence.”
“Little children with wasted frames and swollen bodies, cling to their mothers’ rags, too weak to even cry for the bread that is not to be had. A bitter wind sweeps through the avenue from the north. A man – his tatters cannot be called clothes — his face blue and pinched, looks at you with unseeing eyes. You do not at first recognize him. It then dawns on you that you have seen that face before. It is the face of a friend, a man who but a few short months before was well-to-do, a banker, as prosperous, well fed and well dressed as you are now. He reaches out his arms toward you and falls at your feet. You stoop down to lift him up. He is dead!-Hunger did it. The scene is not exaggerated. Not overdrawn. It has its exact counter part in hundreds of cities, towns, and villages throughout Central and Eastern Europe at this very moment. The call comes from one human being to another, from those who have less than nothing to those who have much. It is the call of humanity. At no time during the war, in any land, not either in Belgium or Northern France, was their a situation more critical, a need more great, a demand for sacrifice and help more insistent than now comes from Eastern and Central Europe. Both the present and future existence of an entire people are at stake.”
The campaign is receiving the active cooperation and support of archbishop Patrick J. Hayes of the Roman Catholic Diocese, Bishop Charles S. Burch of Episcopal diocese, Bishop Luther B. Wilson, President of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Miss Evangeline Booth, Commander of the Salvation Army.
Members of the executive committee include Cleveland H. Dodge, Treasurer of the Committee for the Relief in the Near East: President Nicholas Murray Butler of Columbia University. George Gordon Battla, Otto T. Bannard, John C. Agar, the Rev. Dr. David J. Hurrell, Robert Grier Cooke, Paul G. Cravath, Francis D. Gallatin, Charles H. Sabin, President of the Guaranty Trust Company: former Attorney General George W. Wickersham, Judge Joseph F. Mulqueen, Judge William H. Wadhams and Alfred E. Marling.
The appeal is to be brought home forcibly to the people of New York in many ways. Today is Church Sunday, and there will be special sermons in churches of all denominations. The Rev. Dr. S. Parkes Cadman has prepared a model sermon for Protestant churches. Vicar General Joseph F. Mooney has written a message to the Roman Catholic churches, and Dr. Nathan Stern, rabbi of the West End Synagogue, prepared an appeal to be read to the Jewish congregations.
Children in the public schools, through the cooperation of the Board of Education, are to hear the story of the sufferings of the children in other lands. In theaters, moving-picture houses, clubs, hotels and restaurants. In short, wherever people are gathered together, the conditions they are asked to alleviate will be made clear to them. It is estimated that not fewer than 10,000 active workers have been enlisted in the cause in the five boroughs. The organization for the campaign has been divided into these parts: The organization of the trades and industries, so that not a single business or profession in the city has been overlooked: the women’s division, embracing 3,000 women workers under the leadership of Mrs. I. Unterberg. Mrs. Samuel C. Lamport and Mrs. S. S. Prince, which has divided the city into districts: the women organized the schools and churches and will make a direct appeal to the homes and to the neighborhood store-keepers; the third organization is is that of the boroughs, each borough, Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Richmond, having a borough organization.
New York Times, May 3, 1920.
The non-sectarian character of the drive on behalf of the Jewish war sufferers was emphasized in the appeal which marked its formal beginning yesterday. An accompanying letter was signed by Evangeline Booth of the Salvation Army, Bishop Burch, Archbishop Hayes and many other representatives of Christian churches. A statement of the nature of the crisis was prepared by the Rev. Dr. S. Parkes Cadman and sent to every Protestant minister in the city to serve as a basis for an announcement from the pulpit. A similar statement for the Catholic churches was sent out by Mgr. Joseph P. Mooney.
Hitherto the Jews have financed their own charities, and with a liberality and skill that have been universally recognized, The present need transcends the means of any single sect and centers in a catastrophe which threatens the entire world. In Russia and the neighboring countries the Jews have been subject to a particularly malignant persecution which has not ended with the war. Without any national organization of their own, they have no central organization to appeal to. Living in segregated and generally impoverished communities, their misery is cumulative to an extent unknown among other sufferers. It is estimated that more than five million are are actually starving or on the verge of starvation, and a virulent typhus epidemic is raging among them and is already spreading among the neighboring populations. Both in the intensity and the extent of present suffering and in the menace it holds out for all Europe, the situation is one which directly concerns the public spirited of all races and creeds.
The quota of New York City is $7.5 million. On the American Joint Distribution Committee are Professer Harry Fisher of Chicago, Professor Israel Friedlander, Max Pine, and Maurice Kass. In their work of distributing food and medical aid through the ghettos of Central Europe they are obliged to proceed without the protection of the government of the United States, which has no diplomatic relations with Soviet Russia. Ample precautions will be taken, however, to make sure that the supplies will be used for the purposes in hand. It is a work of mercy that makes a peculiar appeal to both the hearts and the interests of a common humanity.
Total Is $3.085 Million
Contributions of $324,000 Are Reported at First Rally In Eastern European Appeal
Children Give $152 Saving
Shuberts add $50,000, Untermyer $30,000 and Stauer $15,000 — Catholic Pastor donates $50
New York Times, April 27, 1926
New contributions of $324,000 were announced yesterday at the first rally and reporting meeting, held in the Hotel Biltmore, in the United Jewish Campaign to raise $6 million in Greater New York towards a $15 million national fund to relieve the millions of Jews who are suffering from famine, disease and unemployment in Eastern Europe. The total now subscribed is $3.035 million, it was announced. The drive will continue until May 10th.
Among the large subscriptions announced yesteray were $50,000 from the Shuberts, theatrical managers; $30,000 from Samuel Untermyer, $15,000 from Max D. Stauer, $15,000 from Nathan J. Miller, $10,000 dollars from Mr. and Mrs. Jerome J. Hanover, $7,500 from Eli Winkler, $6,000 from David A. Ansbacher, $1,000 from Mrs. Carl Pforzheimer and $1,165 from the Women’s Town Club through Mrs. Ernest Grunsfeld.
The Brooklyn section of the campaign reported total subscriptions of $425,000 toward their $1,200,000 quota. Theb women’s division announced new subscriptions of $24,000, making $274,000 toward their $500,000 quota. The Far Rockaway section reported a total of $125,000 exceeding their original $100,000 quota, which now has increased to $150,000.
David M. Bressler, Vice Chairman for New York, who assumed active leadership of the campaign in the absence of William Fox, Chairman, after Mr. Fox was called to California by his motion picture interests, presided at at yesterday’s rally. He announced that one of the finest contributions to the campaign was $152.25 he had received from the children of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society, which had a quota of $110.
Mr. Bressner read a letter from Dr. Leon W. Goldrich, director of the institution, who said: “Two weeks ago we fixed a quota for each cottage at the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society. Knowing the financial limitations of our own dependent boys and girls, we felt that the childdren would be making a very great personal sacrifice if we fixed each cottage quota as high as $10 because this sum would have been donated in nickels and dimes. I am pleased to state that today, after the final reports were made by the children we found that each of our eleven cottage of boys and girls had exceeded its original quota of $10 and that some cottages almost doubled their original quota.”
Edmund and Natalie Lipsky, children of Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Lipsky of 1469 President Street, Brooklyn, sent $7.35, representing earnings for doing errands for their parents.
A gift of $25 from Mrs. Henry Bodenheimer, it was announced, represented the proceeds from the sale of metal and several watches which she had melt down to aid in the campaign.
Several gifts from non-Jews were reported. These included a check for $50 from the Rev. John C. York of Saint Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church, Brooklyn. With the check Father York sent a letter saying he was glad to do all in his power to further the humanitarian purpose of the campaign.
Dr. Nathan Krass, rabbi of Temple Emmanu-El in an address at the rally said: “When a man or a woman is enthusiastic in the fullest sense of the term, they would die for a cause if necessary. We do not ask you to die. We ask you to live and to live so that your efforts will be indicative of the firmness of your own faith in this great cause. Those of you who are going to visit the Orthodox Jews, tell them that $18 will save one life, and that the word eighteen in Hebrew is “chai,” which means ’18’ and it also means ‘life.’ If you talk to them in this language, you will probably be able to reach them.”
Mrs. Abraham I. Elkus, chairman of the women’s division, said: “Every woman who is registered is working. Our daily trouble is that we haven’t quite enough women working. Our duty is to give every woman in New York the privilege of helping. As I wrote to one woman, ‘It is hard enough for the people in Europe to have to go on a bread line, but the saddest thing, the most horrible thing, is to go on a bread line and find that there is no bread. That is what we have to bring forward in this campaign. That if we don’t give the money there is not even going to be bread on the bread line. And there are not going to be tools for the workmen, and there is not going to be any license paid and any chance for them to work.”
All branches of the theatrical business were represented at a luncheon in the Biltmore yesterday, at which the theatrical division was organized. Louis Marshall, the principal speaker, said that the Jews of America constituted one-quarter of the Jews of the world, and possessed practically all of the Jewish wealth of the world. “We are now called upon to help one-half of all the Jews on the face of the globe.” Mr. Marshall continued. “We are called upon to help a people who have put up a valiant battle against the current that is dragging them down. They have struggled as no people have ever struggled and today they are facing the blackest tragedy that has ever confronted any human group. I firmly believe that when the national debt question is settled and Europe can begin to function normally, that the Jewish situation will improve. But, in the meanwhile, not only in Poland, in Russia and Bessarabia, but also in Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Austria, and every other country in Eastern Europe, death stalks in every Jewish home. We must help them to bridge over this terrible period. The star of hope to which their eyes are strained is right here in America. It is the promise of this campaign, let us not let this star wane on the horizon. I’d rather go down to death with the starving Jews of Poland than live with men of affluence whose hearts are so cruel that they will not give help to others.”
Boy, 9 Turns in Savings Bank — Gristede’s to Give 10% of Day’s Net — Salesmen offer Commissions New York Times, May 3, 1926.
United Campaign Enters Second Week With $2,474,960 of $6 Million Lacking; Appeal Made to Children
Boy, 9 Turns in Savings Bank — Gristede’s to Give 10% of Day’s Net — Salesmen offer Commissions
New York Times, May 3, 1926.
With $2,474,960 of New York’s $6 million quota toward the $15 million national fund for the relief of Jews in Eastern Europe still to be raised, the second and last week of the United Jewish campaign in Greater New York meetings in synagogues, Reformed temples, sabbath schools, Talmud Torah’s, club houses, YMHA buildings, community centers, lodge rooms, and labor union headquarters. David M. Bressler, Acting Chairman of the drive, estimated that the total attendace was about 500000 persons. No contributions were taken at these meetings. but speakers spread the message of the sufferings of millions of Jews abroad to at least one third of the Jewish population of New York City. Last night’s appeal, according to managers of the campaign, is expected greatly swell the total of contribution [sic].
The feature of the series of meetings was an address by David A. Brown, National Chairman of the drive, which was read at all the meetings, Mr. Brown said: “Never in the history of the Jewish people, dating back for centuries, was there a situation like this, and never before in the history of the Jewish people was was there an emergency as great as this. Women and children are dropping on the streets from hunger in Bassarabia [sic]. Many others are found dead in their homes in Poland. A horrible scourge of of typhus is sweeping over the Jews in both lands, adding to the toll of death. In thousands of homes, men, women and children are sick to the point of utter exhaustion from hunger. There is another gruesome picture that that is given in the cable received by me and the Joint Distribution Committee in the last few days that unless substantial help came quickly — the Jewish orphan asylums will be compelled to close because their resources have been exhausted to the last penny. Thousands of children will be turned out into the streets to roam about aimlessly, hopelessly, blindly. Many children already on the streets eat what they can find in garbage cans or what they can pilfer from a shop or a stand. They sleep in alleys, in cellars. They are ragged. They are tattered and their morals are being destroyed. My European correspondents inform me that hundreds are killing themselves, are hastening death because their sufferings have made them impatient of its arrival. This without the slightest attempt at exaggeration is the situation in which millions — I repeat, millions – of our Jews in Europe are trapped. This is the situation which thus far we have coped with almost in vain. The Jews of America must immediately respond to this effort; they must make a sum of money greater than has ever been raised in the history of the Jews in this country in order that the tragedy which is overwhelming millions of their own flesh and blood shall be stayed.
The help which non-Jews are giving to the drive was illustrated by an address made last night by James W. Gerard, former ambassador to Germany, at the meeting in Temple B’nai Jeshurun, Eighty-eighth Street and West End Avenue. Contrasting America’s stability with the economic and civil disturbances in European countries, Mr. Gerard showed how, in Eastern Europe, the Jews were the butt of the unrest and were therefore in need of the succor which the campaign is seeking to send. Mr. Gerard said that while it was peculiarly fitting for those whom the newspapers choose to call ‘Nordics’ to preach and practice tolerance in this country, he wanted his hearers to impress upon the Eastern and Central Jewish immigrants to uphold America’s institutions and not to upset them. He mentioned, among the large contributors to the fund, Felix M. Warburg, Louis Marshall, Benjamin Winter, Frederick Brown and Harry Fischell, and said that they had taken advantage of this country’s opportunities and had become wealthy. “They didn’t march around with red flags nor did they go to Socialist schools and devise plans whereby this government might be overthrown,” Mr. Gerard said. “They settled down to work and from the wealth they gathered — some by speculating in New York real estate — they are giving so much to their brethren in Europe. But they are entitled to every cent of profit they have made out of real estate, because they bet on the stability of the institutions of the United States.
Mr. Gerard outlined many disturbing factors in Europe today. In England there is the strike, the probable results of which he pictured for his audience. Speaking of France, he said the franc “has almost dropped out of sight and may follow the German mark.” The reason for this, he asserted, is that while the country is economically prosperous, the “citizens refuse to perform their duties as citizens and pay taxes.”
The ex-Ambassador spoke of Mussolini’s dictatorship in Italy, the military dictatorship in Spain, the industrial breakdown in Russia, the political troubles of Rumania and Hungary, and the warfare in Turkey and in Syria. Because the Jews are engaged in commerce and trade these disturbances affect them most keenly, he said. Mrs. I. D. Morrison, Vice President of the sisterhood, presided. There was a musical program in which Miss Dorothea Edwards and Arcady Berkenholz participated.
Rabbi Israel Goldstein, who introduced Mr. Gerard, said: “The tragedy of Jewish suffering has never before, until the recent devastating war, covered so large an area or affected so large a population. At the same time it is also true, and that is the one great consolation, that never before in any crisis affecting one portion of Jewry, was there as bright a prospect of salvation from another portion of Jewry as exists today in the affluence and general wealth of American Israel. To raise their quota of $6 million for the relief of Eastern European Jewry, the Jews of New York are not even obliged to curtail their luxuries. It need only come from their unused surplus, so furtunate is their condition in this land at this time. I have faith that the Jewish heart, which always beats in rhythm with the Jewish need, will not fail in this emergency.”
The story of the suffering of the Jews of Eastern Europe was told by Mr. Bressler in an address before members of Temple Ansche Chesed, 111th Street and Seventh Avenue. “The eyes of the entire Jewish world are on the Jews of New York during these weeks,” he said. “This, the largest wealthiest Jewish community that has ever existed in the history of our people, is expected to respond edequately to the tragic cry of millions of our flesh and blood, or to plead guilty to the charge of moral murder. The Jew in this city, man or woman, who, not being himself into the $6 million fund will be responsible for the death of some man, woman or child in Europe as responsible need of charity, does not contribute as if he had committed murder with his own hands.”
Vice Chairman Jonah J. Goldstein, who was the principal speaker at the Institutional Synagogue, said: “This is a campaign to save lives over there by raising money here. We need man-power and woman-power to go and get it. We seek service as well as money. No one can excuse himself for not giving because he or she has not been asked. The cries of the sufferers have been loud enough to be heard the world over. The cooperation of the newspapers in bringing this cry to the hearts of the people has been unparalleled in the history of philanthropy in this city. The salvation and lives of one-half of the Jews of the world is in our hands. There must be and is one answer, “Your brothers in Israel are coming to your rescue.”
Judge Grover M. Moscowitz, Chairman of the Brooklyn division of the campaign, addressed several meetings in Brooklyn. Rabbi Louis Gross, Samuel J. Levinson and Harry Helpern also visited organizations making pleas for generous support of the drive.
At the Talmud Torah Pride of Israel in Williamsburg, Judge Moscowitz said: “The depths of despair reached by our suffering people in Eastern Europe can be equaled only by the depths of degradation reached by those of their coreligionists in this city and country who hear their cries and remain deaf to this appeal. If we do not help these people, these men, women and children of our faith, race and kin, then nobody will aid them. Either we help them, or they perish — miserably, hopelessly — not all of them, to be sure, but in unnumbered thousands. That is God’s simple truth. There has never before been a more appalling period in the history of the Jew.”
Judge Mitchell May, addressing a large group in Brownsville, said: “We hear about the people who are tired of giving and the people who are tired of working and the people who are tired of sacrificing, but do these people who suffer in want and deprivation, who suffer in sickness and disease, do they ever grow tired of that suffering? Do they ever grow tired of sickness and disease? Do we stop and reflect that God has given us strength and health, God has given us power that we can buy all the comforts of the world — that they are our neighbors and our brothers and our children who are starving and in need and distress? I cannot conceive of anyone who can put his head down on his pillow at night and think that someone else is suffering, that someone else is starving and dying, when he could give relief. If there be such a person, he is not a Jew — he has not the instincts that every Jewish soul must have. He is false to his traditions, false to his people, and false to himself.”
Speaking at Ninth Avenue Temple, Judge Edward Lazansky said: “Starvation and pestilence are at hand. Thousands of Jews are suffering intensely and at death’s door. They must be succored. The call is irresistable — it cannot be denied. The appeal is heart-rending, it may not be overlooked. The Jews of America, happy and prosperous, are the only ones who have power of staying disaster. They have never failed to do their duty — they will not fail now.”
An appeal was made yesterday to the pupils of several hundred Jewish religious schools in all the boroughs of the city except Brooklyn, which will have its Children’s Day next Sunday. It was estimated that the Children’s gifts would amount to between $50,000 and $75,000 although complete tabulation was not made last night.
The pupils of the Temple B’nai Jeshurus religious schoolgave $200 and the 250 students in the high school department paid $10 each, to be paid in one year out of their personal allowances. A 6 year old boy took his savings bank, nearly filled with coins, to the campaign headquarters at the Hotel Biltmore and said he wanted to help. The bank holds $10 when filled and does not open until filled, so the boy said he would bring in additional coins until the $10 was reached. Teachers and pupils of the Hebrew Technical School for Girls, Second Avenue and Fifteenth Street, gave $100, of which $54.50 was from the pupils.
Mr. Bressler announced that he had a letter from Gristede Brothers Inc., that this concern would donate to the campaign 10% of the proceeds next Thursday of all cash sales in its 115 chain grocery stores in in Manhatten, the Bronx, Mt. Vernon, Yonkers, New Rochelle, White Plains, Bronxville, Larchmont, Tarrytown, Port Chester, Rye, Pelham, Mamarcneck, Scarsdale, Hastings, and Greenwich Conn. The pledge was secured by Mrs. Isaac Kuble of the Advisory Board of the Women’s Division of the campaign, to which the amount raised will be credited. Two $1,000 donations from non-Jews were reported by Leon Lauterstein, Chairman of the Rockaway Division. One is from H. Hobart Porter, and the other from Thomas Williams, both of Lawrence L. L. Another non-Jewish contribution reported by Brooklyn headquarters was $2,000 from the W. M. Ritter Flooring Corp.
Salesmen of Kunst & Small, lining makers, a firm represented in the Cotton Goods Committee of the Trade Division, have voluntarily pledged all their commissions earned in the first week of the drive to the fund.
A meeting of the real estate group will be held today at the campaign headquarters to plan the final intensive effort raise $1 million from members of the industry. Harry Goodstein, Chairman of the group, announced that $403,000 of the quota is already in hand. Rabbis of Greater New York have already contributed $8,000 toward the $10000 quota assigned to them, according to a report made by Rabbi Israel Goldstein, President of the New York Board of Jewish Ministers and chairman of the Rabbis Committee of the campaign. Among those who have made gifts are: [table of donors omitted]
Protestant and Catholic Clergy to Aid Near East Relief Movment
New York Times, November 27, 1926
Washington, November 26 — A movement to enlist 50,000 Protestant and Catholic clergy in an organization to save 5 million Jews in Eastern and Central Europe was begun here today under the direction of the American Christian Fund for Jewish Relief.
Dr. S. Parkes Cadman, President of the Federal Council of Churches and Judge Victor J. Dowling, a representative Catholic layman, are joint chairman of the fund. The call for the movement says one third of the Jewish population of the world is in distress and in some parts of Europe the death rate among Jewish babies is almost 100%.
“The facts are appalling,” the call states. “Thousands of Jews are dying of want right now. Hundreds of thousands are confronted by the most painful death — hunger. Unless help is given, 5 million will starve. This does not mean that they will die immediately, but that they will linger, with lack of sufficient food, and some will die next week, some next month and each succeeding month, unless relief comes, one way or another.
Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition (1911)
Here is the anti-Semitism article:
Here is the “six million” excerpt from the article:
“Though anti-Semitism has been unmasked and discredited, it is to be feared that its history is not yet at an end. While there remain in Russia and Rumania over six millions of Jews who being systematically degraded, and who periodically overflow western frontier, there must continue to be a Jewish question Europe; and while there are weak governments, and ignorant superstitious elements in the enfranchized classes of the countries affected, that question will seek to play a part in politics.”
Apparently also in the 1902 Encyclopedia Britannica (10th Edition)
Decades of Holocaust