Writing from Prague, Rabbi Irving Reichert, a prominent San Francisco rabbi, who was asked by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to report on conditions in Europe, was describing the quickly deteriorating conditions for Jews in Germany. Wise was National Chairman of JDC’s German Relief Campaign. In 1933, Rabbi Reichert conducted a week-long study trip on the status of German Jewry at the behest of JDC’s German Relief Campaign, which was spearheading a campaign to raise $2 million to aid the beleaguered German Jews. His study surveyed conditions in Berlin, Frankfurt, and Baden-Baden, and included interviews with Jewish refugees in London, Paris, and Prague. On June 27, Rabbi Reichert sent a cable to Rabbi Jonah B. Wise, rabbi of Manhattan’s Central Synagogue and a prominent leader of Reform Judaism, who served as national chairman of the German Relief Campaign. Reichert’s radiogram drew attention to “terrifying[,] utterly hopeless conditions” and the “systematic…strangulation” to which German Jews were being subjected under the Nazi regime. This cable presaged a more extensive report which detailed the plight of German Jews who were now banned from public schools and debarred from their professions under restrictive laws established by the Nazi regime, which had now come to prominence in the German government. After the release of this report, the German Relief Campaign announced in July 1933 that campaigns were being held in over 300 Jewish communities, and that these campaigns had already raised a quarter of a million dollars to enable JDC to fund a variety of critical relief measures for the German Jewish community, including medical and child care, vocational and agricultural training, Jewish schools and educational activities, free loan cooperatives, and emigration aid. Between 1933 and 1942, JDC allocations to Germany totaled over $4.5 million.

Show lessRead more
  • Title: Rabbi Irving F. Reichert to Dr. Jonah B. Wise
  • Date Created: 1933-06-27
  • Physical Dimensions: 7" x 8 1/2"
  • Rights: The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Archives
  • External Link: Link to JDC Archives Website
  • Medium: radiogram