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 $7,500,000. 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.
New York Times
May 3, 1920