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March 31, 1989 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-31

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Detroit Gives JDC
Emergency Loan


Staff Writer

The board of the Jewish Welfare
Federation of Detroit unanimously
approved a $1 million emergency loan
on Tuesday to aid Soviet Jews in
Ladispoli, Italy.
The loan is part of $5 million
needed to be raised nationally by this
weekend for the financially strapped
American Jewish Joint Distribution
Committee, operator of the
transmigration center in Ladispoli,
where the majority of an estimated
7,000 Soviet Jews are awaiting entry
into the United States.
The cash shortage is a result of re-
cent cutbacks in reimbursements to
the JDC by the U.S. government.
The Federation is using interest

Federation approved a $1
million advance for the
7,000 Soviet Jews waiting
in Ladispoli, Italy.

earned from its United Jewish
Charities endowment program to
make the loan.
"It's costing us interest that
would have been earned, but that
seems a small price to pay for
freedom;' said Dr. Conrad Giles,
Federation president. Detroit's
contribution is an advance on the $2.5
million the Federation pledged to the
United Jewish Appeal's special
Passage to Freedom campaign for
Soviet Jews, which begins in April
and seeks to raise $75 million.
Detroit is one of a handful of cities

participating in the emergency
Marvin Lender, national Passage
to Freedom campaign chairman, said
Baltimore, Md., also is planning to
make a $1 million loan from its en-
dowment fund. He hopes his own New
Haven, Conn., federation will provide
$330,000. Harold Cohen, assistant
vice president of the UJA campaign
in New York, said $500,000 had been
pledged by Metro West New Jersey
and $100,000 from Bergen, N.J.
Meanwhile, Max Fisher was nam-
ed honorary national chairman of the
Passage to Freedom campaign. Serv-
ing as an honorary co-chairman is
Mandell Berman, president of the
Council of Jewish Federations.
Dr. Giles said the Detroit Federa-
tion is "gearing up to meet the de-
mand for the Passage to Freedom
campaign and we recognize that the
next few weeks are crucial" to the
JDC, which has had to slash ∎ $7
million in programs for poor and ag-
ed Jews in other parts of the world to
shift funds to Jews leaving the Soviet
"Nobody could have predicted six
months ago the enormous opportuni-
ty now provided those of us in ---the
Diaspora;' Dr. Giles said. He said due
to the expected influx of nearly
34,000 Soviet Jews to the United
States, the JDC "found itself in the
position where it had to borrow
money and, indeed, finished 1988 in
a highly loaned position.
"We share in some of the blame
— if we are to use the word 'blame' —
in that we were alerted to this need
(for more funding) prior to the year
Continued on Page 12

Jewish Love•In.
Solidarity Or

MARCH 31, 1989 / 24 ADAR II 5749


For Jews
In The USSR?

A first-hand report from Moscow,
where Jewish cultural activists are
hopeful about the Kremlin's new
attitude but worried by
signs of growing anti-Semitism.

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