Prague (Aug. 20)
The conception underlying the work of the Keren Hayesod (Palestine Foundation Fund) based upon the collections for national purposes, has fully retained its vital and pressing appeal despite political and economic hardships, according to the report of the organization which will be presented in the course of the Eighteenth World Zionist Congress opening here tomorrow. The report covers the two-year period from April 1, 1931 to March 31, 1933.
“The past few years have been hard ones for the Keren Hayesod,” the report points out. “In most countries the receipts have declined considerably. Only with the utmost difficulty could expenditures be adjusted to the changed conditions, and no one can say whether the economic crisis which has borne particularly heavily on the Jewish people, is a passing phenomenon, or whether we have entered into a longish period of capitalistic retrogression with the resultant adverse effect upon money collections, more particularly those of an interterritorial kind. Under these circumstances, optimistic forecasts are out of place.”
NUMBER OF CONTRIBUTORS
The report notes, however, that the number of contributors has not decreased in anything like the ratio of the amount of contributions. In several countries, there was no decline at all in the number of contributors.
Reviewing the situation in Palestine, the report notes that the “first phase of Jewish colonizing effort in Palestine is gradually nearing its end. The majority of the settlements established by the Keren Hayesod on Keren Kayemeth (Jewish National Fund) land will start presently to pay interest and part of the capital invested. . . .
“The Yishub is gradually assuming some of the tasks hitherto shouldered by the Keren Hayesod. The latter’s position will thus be eased once it has discharged the vast obligations it undertook in order to expedite rural and urban settlement in previous years. The past two years mark a definite step forward in this direction.”
VALUE OF EFFORTS
No practical proposal for the decentralizing of the Keren Hayesod’s fund-raising efforts in the event it discharges the whole of its liabilities, has yet been brought forward, the report states. In this connection it points out that the credit of the Jewish Agency for Palestine is still chiefly dependent on the anticipated income of the Keren Hayesod.
The fund-raising efforts have also a strong propaganda and educational value. “The history of the Palestine movement, and more especially of Zionist work since the War, shows that the most effective propaganda consists of gaining regular and adequate contributions for Palestine purposes and in this way forging a personal bond between the individual and Palestine,” it states.
The economic situation in the United States during the past two years caused the severest blow to the fund, the report reveals.
Referring to the German-Jewish situation, the report notes the large-scale emigration to Palestine and the relief collections throughout the world, including Palestine. It notes that although these funds are not being collected under the Keren Hayesod flag, they are following the methods developed by the organization. The campaign for settlement of the German Jews in Palestine “is the direct result of its educational work,” says the report.
INCOME AND ALLOCATIONS
The income for the two years of the report amounted to 400,077 pounds. This compares with 647,177 pounds for the previous two-year period. Of the sum received, 259,825 pounds were collected from April 1, 1931 to March 31, 1932, and 140,252 pounds in the year just past.
The United States, in the past two years gave 133,545 pounds as compared to 162,062 pounds for the two years previous. In the twelve years’ existence of the Keren Hayesod, the United States has given a total of 2,409,392 pounds, approximately half of the total raised throughout the world in that period which was 4,821,510 pounds.