Following a six-week closure, the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde (IKG) was reopened under the strict control of the security service of the SS on 2 May 1938. To enable emigration for as many people as possible, the IKG not only tried to procure foreign currency and entry visas, but also organized vocational retraining courses. They were intended to facilitate the professional entry in the new homeland for those completing the courses.
The rapid impoverishment of the Jewish population required from the IKG extensive welfare services. Since arrests, different emigration options, etc. had torn many families apart, numerous children and youngsters had to be put up in day care centers, apprentices' homes, or orphanages. To fight starvation, the IKG established soup kitchens, which at times provided daily meals for up to 36,000 persons. On the Jewish part of the Central Cemetery vegetables were planted in order to provide at least for the sick, the children, and the old. The IKG was dissolved on November 1, 1942 and transformed into the »Council of Elders of the Jews in Vienna.« All persons who were Jewish according to the Nuremberg Laws, that is, also those baptized or without any religious affiliation, had to belong to the »Council of Elders.«