Rabbinical Parley Asks $500,000 from Jewish Agency; Threatens to Start Drive in U.S.

The conference of American, Israeli and other rabbis held here at the initiative of a delegation of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada today decided to ask the Jewish Agency for $500,000 to be allocated in its budget for yeshivoth “which are now in a desperate situation.”

The rabbinical conference decided that if the Jewish Agency executive does not comply with the request, the rabbis will start an independent fund-raising campaign in the United States. Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog, Minister of Religion Judah L. Maimon and other Israeli religious leaders would in this case proceed to the United States to help in such a campaign.

Israeli Health Minister I.M. Levin, president of the Agudas Israel executive, today issued a statement declaring that “there is no foundation to the Jewish Agency report that agencies affiliated with the Agudas Israel and with the Agudah laborite organization have this year received funds totalling $2,500,000.”

The statement said that last year the Jewish Agency allocated 80,000 pounds to Youth Aliyah bodies affiliated with the Agudah groups. A sum of 27,000 pounds has also been appropriated for a settlement scheme of the Agudah laborites. “No other bodies affiliated or connected with the Agudas Israel or the Agudah labor group received any funds,” the statement declared.

The sum of $1,200,000 mentioned in the Jewish Agency report as having been granted to Agudah institutions was not granted to the organization as such, but on an individual basis to newly-arrived immigrants who happened to be members of the Agudas Israel or of the Agudah laborite organization, the statement stressed. It denied that “at any time did Agudas Israel educational institutions receive any funds from the Jewish Agency.”

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