Committee on Work in Foreign Countries, 1924

Abraham Herman, chairman of the HIAS Committee on Work in Foreign Countries, led a discussion at a committee meeting on May 19, 1924 on the resolution recently adopted by the Board of Directors to aid refugees and immigrants stranded while in transit as immigration laws were changed in the United States.

The discussion centered on “how HIAS could begin its work in behalf of Jewish immigrants and refugees, originally destined to the United States and other countries, who, because of new restrictive immigration laws, could not complete their journey, and are now stranded at the European ports of embarkation and in foreign countries.”

To perfect a plan of how HIAS could begin to work with new restrictive immigration laws, 1924
HIAS’ plan to work with new restrictive immigration laws, 1924

At the next meeting of this committee, June 5, 1924, representatives of other Jewish organizations were present, including leaders from the Zionist Organization of America, the American Jewish Congress, the Council of Jewish Women (CJW), and the Jewish Daily Forward and other Jewish newspapers. The resolution adopted by HIAS’ Board of Directors to “undertake the necessary work in behalf of the immigrants and refugees wherever they may be …” was presented:

"HIAS, alone or in cooperation with other organizations, undertake the necessary work in behalf of the immigrants and refugees wherever they may be"
“HIAS, alone or in cooperation with other organizations, [shall] undertake the necessary work in behalf of the immigrants and refugees wherever they may be”
Further discussion included “the entire question of Jewish immigration …”. It was decided that representatives of HIAS, the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee and “some of the labor organizations” would arrange for a conference of “all Jewish National Organizations, with the object of considering and acting upon a plan for solving the problem of Jewish immigration.”

Of course the world still struggles to solve the “problem” of immigration for large groups of economic, political and religious refugees continually seeking a better life.

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