According to Wikipedia, a war chest is “a metaphor for any collection of tools or money intended to be used in a challenging or dangerous situation.” For example, a politician’s campaign fund is often referred to as a “war chest.” The name originated hundreds of years ago during an era when a person literally kept a chest in his home to hold the tools of war: swords, knives, guns, powder and bullets.
In 1942, as exemplified by the Sept. 25 issue of the JN, the “war chest” cited on its front page was the primary international War Chest to support Allied efforts to win World War II. Members of the War Chest included the British War Relief Society, Greek War Relief Association, Maple Leaf Fund, Polish-American Council, Queen Wilhelmina Fund, Russian War Relief Inc., United China Relief, Allied Jewish Campaign (including United Jewish Appeal), War Prisoners’ Aid, United Service Organizations Inc., and the Detroit Community Fund. In other words, this was an operation that reflected the global nature of the conflict.
The front page, in and of itself, is a very interesting read. The basis for this page was the decision of local Jewish agencies that supported the idea that the annual Detroit Allied Jewish Campaign support the War Chest. While the Jewish agencies still funded important, traditional welfare funds, now, a large portion of the contributions from Detroit would go to the War Chest. Further proof that Jewish Detroiters did their part to win World War II. In consideration of Nazi’s atrocities against Jews in Europe, it was not a hard sell for the local community.
Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.