Primary Sources & Lesson Plans
The United Jewish Appeal was founded in 1934 to help distressed Jews in Europe. An umbrella organization, it unified the fundraising and relief efforts of the United States increasingly diverse Jewish population. In 1947, UJA shifted its focus from assisting war refugees to providing support for the creation of a Jewish state.
Under the leadership of former Treasury Secretary Henry Morganthau, Jr., UJA relied on both traditional and new methods to raise funds. Jewish philanthropic organizations had long used prominent people to solicit donations. In this document, the UJA thanked Yiddish film and stage star Molly Picon for her efforts on behalf of the organization. She had given much more than money. In the true Jewish tradition of tzedakah, she had donated her time and energy.
For more on the UJA and Molly Picons efforts, go to JWAs Women of Valor exhibit.
1. For what is Molly Picon being thanked in this letter?
2. This letter is written on the official letterhead of the UJA. What does the slogan American Jewish Campaign of Sacrifice, suggest?
3. Identify the different components of the picture at the top of the letter. Why do you think the designer juxtaposed the jeep with the people?
4. How much money did the UJA aim to raise? What do you think most of the money was used for?
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