CLEVELAND (Sep. 28)
A resolution requesting that American Jewish communities be given “full participation” on the highest policy and administration levels in formulating plans for the 1949 United Jewish Appeal was adopted here by 250 delegates to the 16th Annual East Central Regional Conference of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds.
The delegates, who passed resolutions on major aspects of Jewish communal affairs, decried the inability of the recent special session of Congress to change the Displaced Persons Act of 1948, The delegates unanimously urged leaders of the Democratic and Republican Parties to “lend their strongest efforts to secure legislation” which would raise the immigration limit from 200,000 to 400,000 over a period of four years and eliminate restrictions based upon “religion, land of origin, or occupation.”
The conference heard a report on Israel by Harold Glasser, director of the Council’s Institute on Overseas Studies, who just returned from a three-week tour of the Jewish state. He emphasized that the responsibilities of American Jewish philanthropy in relation to Israel’s needs will continue on a high level in 1949 as the infant state maintains its war footing, plans the nation’s economy and prepares to greet “fantastic numbers” of new immigrants.
U.S. JEWISH PHILANTHROPY URGED NOT TO INTERFERE WITH ISRAEL’S INTERNAL LIFE
While the philanthropic contributions of American Jewry are needed in Israel Glasser urged that a policy of non-interference with the internal and political life of Israel be followed. “The purposes for which American philanthropic monies are spent in Israel should be consistent with the internal political, economic and financial policies of the Israeli Government,” he declared. American contributions should not be spent for purposes which the Israeli Government does not approve, nor should emphasis be given to expenditures when the Israeli Government requires a different emphasis.”
A high proportion of men and women are in the Israel armed forces and “there is also complete rationing of raw materials, more serious than we had during the war because the resources are relatively smaller,” he said. “The food available to the urban population is ample, but there are no luxuries. Above all, there is a great labor and capital shortage.
Referring to economic measures which the Israel Government has taken to meet the war burden, Glasser stated that the new income tax law is “easily equivalent to the American level of taxation.” Voluntary taxes are also considerable in scope and universally enforced. He added that the government has successfully floated an internal loan of $20,000,000.
He pointed out that Israel is carrying the standards of Western civilization into the Near East in a number of ways. Looking toward the unrestricted immigration of Jews, government leaders are making ambitious plans for the nation’s economy, he declared. The heart of Israel’s economy is agriculture, he added. In relation, to the industrial outlook, Glasser stressed that the government will welcome private investment in such fields as chemicals, petroleum, textile, electrical machinery, steel fabricating, and tourist development.
Julian Freeman, of Indianapolis, was elected Regional president for the coming year. Cleveland resident elected to officer posts are Maurice Bernon, treasurer; and Maurice Pearlstein, secretary. In addition, Clevelanders L.W. Keumark and Jerome N. Curtis were elected to the Regional Executive Committee.