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December 06, 1963 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-12-06

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Fr iday, December 6, 1963—THE DETROIT JEWISH NEW S- 14

_London Insurance Company Ousts Lord Mancroft

Boris Smolar's

'Between You
... and Me'

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)



I(Copyright, 1963,
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)

J.D.C. at 50

The Joint Distribution Committee enters the 50th year of its
existence. . .. This means 50 years of world Jewish history . . . and
the stormiest. . . . When the JDC came into being during World
War I, nobody anticipated that its services would be needed many
years after the war was over. . . It was organized as a relief
organization to provide aid to the Jewish war victims in East
European countries where thousands and thousands of Jews were
uprooted and impoverished by the war. . . Its basic activities were
centered in Poland—where the needs of the 3,000,000 Jews were
the greatest—in Rumania, and for a short period of time in the
Eastern part of the Ukraine. . . . Little did any of the JDC leaders
suspect that when post-war Jewish life would become more or less
normal, the JDC would have to develop even more intensified
activities to come to the aid of Jews hit by a new catastrophe. . . .
Nobody could have foreseen at that time the emergence of Nazism
and its tragic consequences for Jews in Germany and in other
countries. .. . Just when JDC leaders in New York were thinking
of gradually withdrawing from Europe and handing over the estab-
lished relief machinery to organized local communities—then they
suddenly found themselves faced with Hitler's first onslaught on
the Jews in Germany. . . . Many thousands of Jews rooted in Ger-
many for generations, suddenly had to flee the country, becoming
homeless and penniless refugees in other countries. . . . They were
in need of relief, shelter, and of bringing them to new lands willing
to admit them as immigrants. . . . The JDC undertook this gigantic
task. . . . With renewed vigor, the JDC intensified its work,
spreading out to many countries where Jewish refugees from
Germany had been given refuge. . . . Then came World War II,
when Jews from other countries also became refugees in need of
JDC aid.. . . This was followed by the tragic years of Nazi annihila-
tion of Jews, when the JDC made heroic efforts to reach Jews in
ghettoes with aid through neutral countries and in other ways. . . .
With the fall of the Nazi regime and the liberation of surviving
Jews, JDC was faced with the immense task of helping thousands of
Jewish displaced persons to come back to normal life. . . . By that
time the JDC was also engaged heavily in helping the Jews in
Morocco, Tunisia and other Moslem countries.. .. The Magic Carpet
operation of bringing all the Jews from Yemen by airplanes to the
newly established Jewish State, was only one of such momentous
JDC post-war operations. . . . It is no exaggeration to say that tens
of thousands of Jews who are today in Israel owe their very lives
to the JDC which made their removal to Palestine and later to
Israel possible.

* * * *

Ambassadors of U.S. Jewry

With the entrance of the JDC into its 50 year, it can be said
that there is no Jewish community in any land in the world which
has not benefited from JDC aid, even the Jews in the Soviet Union.
. . . More than 200,000 Jewish families in the Soviet Union ceased
to be "declassed elements" deprived of all rights after the Agro-
joint settled them on the land in Crimea and the Ukraine. . . . This
tremendous task carried out by the Agrojoint and its late head,
Dr. Joseph Rosen, is one of the finest chapters in Jewish history.
. . . It was my privilege to serve a head of the child welfare work
conducted by the JDC in the Ukraine in the early years after
World War I, and also to be close later to the work of the Agro-
joint in Crimea and the Ukraine. . . . The United States had at
that time not yet recognized the Soviet Union, and there was no
American official representation there. . . . However, the apprecia-
tion of the Soviet government for the Agrojoint work was so tre-
mendous that Dr. Rosen—who was admired by Jews and non-Jews
alike in the Soviet Union—was treated like an ambassador of
American Jewry. . . . So were Dr. Boris Bogen, in the early post-
war years in Poland, the head of the JDC operations; Dr. Bernard
Kahn, head of JDC activities in Europe till the outbreak of World
War II; Dr. Joseph Schwartz, who headed the JDC operations over-
seas during World War H. . . . The Jews in Europe saw in them
the symbol of American Jewish generosity. . . . The non-Jews con-
sidered them with affection reflecting their admiration for American
Jewry's alertness to the needs of its brethren abroad. . . . In the
eyes of governments abroad, the JDC was the "Jewish Red Cross,"
and in some countries the JDC relief operations were incomparably
wider than the Red Cross operations.
* *
Symbol of Unity
The JDC thus enters its 50th year of existence with an un-
precedented record of activity which brought aid to millions of
Jews in practically every country in the world and created the
highest reputation for the Jews in America. . . . In the United
States JDC is an organization enjoying the confidence of every
group in the American Jewish community, regardless of its orienta-
tion. . . . Jewish unity has never been symbolized so strongly as it
is today in the JDC and in the United Jewish Appeal of which the
JDC is one of the major partners. . . This spirit of unity was de-
veloped by the founders of the JDC, primarily by the late Jewish
leaders, Felix Warburg, Louis Marshall and Julius Rosenwald. .. .
It was cemented later by Paul Baerwald, the late JDC chairman
who dedicated his life to the organization and could be found in
the JDC headquarters every day, who kept his finger on any event
affecting European Jewry in the tragic years of the Nazi regime
and brought about important and historic decisions by JDC in
those years. . . . His successor, Edward M. M. Warburg—affec-
tionately called "Eddie" in Jewish communities throughout the
United States—is heading the JDC ever since his return from the
European war front after having served in the U.S. armed forces
from the beginning till the end of the war. . . . Today, about one-
half of the JDC annual budget is spent in Israel for the mainte-
nance of the Malben institution for aged and handicapped immi-
grants which the JDC has established. . . . Moses A. Leavitt,
executive vice-chairman of the JDC, who directed the multi-
million dollar relief, rescue and rehabilitation programs of the
organization since the outbreak of World War 11, is the dynamic
force of the JDC.

LONDON — The Board of
Deputies of British Jews criti-
cized Wednesday the action of
the Norwich Union Insurance
Societies in yielding to Arab
boycott pressures in the resig-
nation from its board of Lord
Mancroft, a leading Jewish busi-
The insurance firm admitted
in a statement Tuesday night
that pressure from "Arab inter-
ests" had caused the resignation
of Lord Mancroft from its Lon-
don advisory board. The com-
pany said in the statement that
"racial discrimination has never
been practiced and is not prac-
ticed today" by the firm.
However, the statement con-
tinued, "Arab interests recently
informed the Norwich Union
that in view of the association
of a member of their London
advisory board with certain
other business interests, Nor-
wich Union policies would no
longer be accepted" in Arab
Lord Mancroft is a director
of Great Universal Stores of
which Sir Isaac Wolfson, a
substantial contributor to Is-
raeli causes, is chairman.
Lord Mancroft also is chair-
man of Global Tours, a tra-
vel agency affiliated with the
Wolfson store chain. Both the
parent firm and the affiliate
have considerable business
ties in Israel.
The company statement said
that the "Arab pressure s"
would have "seriously preju-
diced" the capacity of the com-
pany to provide insurance for
goods and people in transit "to
people of all races" and that
this was made known to Lord
Mancroft, "who recognized that
there was a conflict of interests
and offered his resignation.
This was reluctantly accepted
by the Norwich Union directors,
with whom, both individually
and as a board, he remains on
the most friendly terms."
The Board of Deputies made
its criticism in a letter to Sir
Charles Bignold. the company's
president. The letter expressed
"surprise and incredulity" over
the circumstances of the Jewish
baron's resignation and warned
that the admitted reasons for
the resignation could make
"any enterprise or company

with which he is connected a
target for threats of boycott by
the Arab states. Similar in-
stances show clearly that to be
a Jew is sufficient to bring on
this kind of coercion."
The Board statement added
that "discrimination in trade
had been condemned by the
United Nations, including
Britain, which has deplored
such obstacles to good inter-
national relations and under-
Noting that "Israel and Brit-
ain are in friendly relations,"
the Board added that it was "re-
grettable to find such an out-
standing company as Norwich
Union apparently prepared to

submit to the insidious form of
pressure which many other
firms have withstood much to
the enhancement of their
standing and repute."

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