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Chief Rabbi's Emergency Council

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Chief Rabbi's Emergency Council

Poignant postwar appeal for Britain’s Jewry to support orphaned Jewish children rescued from Europe

1947 19 mins

Overview

This moving charity appeal shows orphaned Jewish children rescued from Eastern Europe since 1945, and urges its audience (primarily Jews living in the UK) to send funds to support the young refugees. Unusually, it opens with three minutes of stills and intertitles before merging into film footage. An extended sequence shows a typical day in the life of the children housed in a boarding school.

The film highlights the work of the London Social Committee, a group of Jewish volunteers devoted to fundraising to continue the postwar rescue efforts. The Chief Rabbi’s Council was one of the main organisations involved in the bureaucratic organisation of the Kindertransport, the pre-war effort that rescued nearly 10,000 Jewish children and re-located them in the UK. Directed by Chief Rabbi Joseph Herman Hertz and Rabbi Solomon Schonfeld, it sought to ensure that the rescued children continued to receive an orthodox Jewish upbringing, and were housed with orthodox families.