American Rescue & Relief Efforts; Vaad Hatzalah & WWII Rescue Efforts
Kneseth Israel Congregation Collection, Rabbi Jacob Lustig Collection
The Emergency Committee for the War-Torn Yeshivoth was an organization formed by the Executive Committee of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis on November 13-14, 1939. The Union wanted to launch a large-scale fund raising campaign and to establish a special committee to save the refugee scholars in Europe that had fled to Vilna. The day after the organization was formed, Rabbi Eliezer silver who had been elected president, launched the operation.
This organization later became known as "Vaad ha-Hatzala," and continued to focus on prioritizing the rescue of rabbis and students. The leaders of the organization emphasized that the creation of this organization was meant in no way to criticiaze the Joint Distribution Committee, and maintained that there was a need for special funds to refugee scholars in Vilna.
(America, American Jews and the Holocaust, American Jewish History, 407)