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Council for German Jewry (CFGJ)
British Jewish organisation established in 1936 with the goal of aiding German Jews to leave Germany in co-ordinated emigration. Organisationally, the CFGJ succeeded and absorbed the Central British Fund for German Jewry (CBF), established in May 1933. Helping German Jews Leave. In reaction to the Nuremberg Laws of September 1935, British Jewish leaders, in consultation with German Jewish leaders, formulated an emigration plan for 100,000 German Jews aged 17-35. Half of the immigrants would settle in Palestine, and half in other countries. It was hoped another 100,000 would emigrate without assistance. The council's founders sought to forge a partnership in this endeavour with American Jewry. Personal and organisational differences nearly prevented the formation of the council. Its first meeting was held in London on March 15, 1936, but the two major American groups, the Joint Distribution Committee and the United Palestine Appeal, joined formally only in August. The council never assumed the stature its founders had hoped it would. It was hampered by British immigration policies in Palestine, emigration obstacles in Germany, the growing impoverishment of German Jewry, and the exacerbation of the situation following the Anschluss. Yet, the council did manage to help nearly 100,000 Jews emigrate by the outbreak of World War II, and it also funded numerous vocational training programs in Germany and elsewhere.
Refugees and Displaced Persons in Britain
With the outbreak of the war, the council was forced to limit its activities to refugees in Britain, and its name was changed to the Central Council for Jewish Refugees. Following the war, the needs of displaced persons and refugees brought another reorganisation and name change, to the Central British Fund for Relief and Rehabilitation. This organisation still exists in the CBF's original offices in Woburn House, London.
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