With some five hundred Jewish leaders from all parts of the country expected to be in attendance, the National Conference on Palestine, to consider the status of the rebuilding of the Jewish National Home in Palestine, will open today at two o’clock at the Hotel Astor for an afternoon and evening session, with Louis Lipsky, National Chairman of the American Palestine Campaign, presiding and delivering the opening address.
Convoked by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the body entrusted by the League of Nations with administration of the Jewish rebuilding activities in Palestine, today’s national conference will also be the signal for the launching of fund-raising efforts for Palestine throughout the country. It has been announced that due to the financial pressure on the Jewish Agency, its campaign this year will be solely in the interests of the Palestine Foundation Fund, known as the Keren Hayesod, and in co-operation with the Hadassah, Women’s Zionist Organization. No other Palestine fund-raising body will be included, as in previous years.
In addition to reports on American contributions to Palestine, and discussion of progress in Palestine, there will be addresses by Felix M. Warburg, Dr. Stephen S. Wise, Dr. Cyrus Adler, Morris Rothenberg, Nathan Straus, Jr., Louis Lipsky, Judge William M. Lewis, Rabbi Samuel Schulman, Harry L. Glucksman and others. Today’s conference will also elect officers of the American Palestine Campaign for 1933.
The sum of Â£4,528,821 has been disbursed by the Palestine Foundation Fund in Palestine during the past eleven years, according to Dr. Leib Jaffe, Director of the Palestine Foundation Fund in Jerusalem, in a report made public in connection with today’s conference.
Dr. Jaffe’s report says, in part:
“Agricultural colonization has been regarded by the Palestine Foundation Fund as its chief function, and it has, therefore, devoted 32 per cent of its total expenditures, or Â£1,446,613, to this item of its budget. The number of settlements founded or subsidized by the Keren Hayesod was 57: 22 kvutzoth, 14 smallholders’ settlements, 5 girls’ training farms, 9 subsidized settlements, 4 Yemenite quarters and two agricultural experiment stations, at Rehoboth and at Gevath.
“For education, the sum of Â£903,957 has been spent. Of this amount the Hebrew University received Â£38,128, the National Library Â£12,800, and the Hebrew Technical Institute Â£40,015. The educational network of the Jewish Agency embraces 255 institutions, with 917 school and kindergarten teachers, and 23,143 pupils. The Keren Hayesod is proud of its devotion to the cause of Hebrew education; we see in it no ‘unproductive’ investment. These are the most productive investments for the Jewish renascence.
“The Keren Hayesod has done much for urban development, though not enough if measured by our desires and needs. As for the share of the Keren Hayesod in Tel Aviv, Jewish city of 46,000, without the Â£103,000 invested by it in the electrification project, there might today have been no cheap power for its factories or homes or for electric lighting. For labor and public works in the towns and on the land, the Keren Hayesod has expended Â£520,000. The Keren Hayesod has helped Jewish workers to make their way into all occupations existing in Palestine, and to introduce new pursuits previously unknown.
“The Keren Hayesod has had a large share in the redemption of the soil of Palestine, expending and investing for this purpose at various times Â£32,760, Â£22,253 and Â£194,270.
“Other expenditures included Â£417,98# for immigration and Â£286,807 for health. The latter sum does not cover the Jewish expenditures for sanitation activities, for the Hadassah, Women’s Zionist Organization, expended Â£390,491 during that period.”