U.p.a. National Convention Asks Local Communities to Give Priority in Funds to U.J.A.
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U.p.a. National Convention Asks Local Communities to Give Priority in Funds to U.J.A.

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The national United Palestine Appeal convention held here this week-end concluded tonight following the adoption of a resolution calling on all welfare funds and local communities to bend their efforts towards raising every possible dollar in behalf of the United Jewish Appeal’s beneficiary organizations. One thousand delegates from 38 states attended the parley. The resolution called for:

1. The joint establishment by the U.J.A. and local welfare funds and communities throughout the country of local quotas and the joint determination of percentages of funds collected to be allocated for overseas needs.

2. Conversion immediately of all pledges into cash so that U.J.A. agencies can meet the urgent needs essential to the survival of the more than 85,000 Jews in transit camps in Israel.

3. Refrain from expansion of local services and the initiation of new projects which would of necessity deprive the U.J.A. of funds for Israel.

4. Make immediate plans for the 1950 campaign of the U.J.A. and reconsider and revise any allotments of funds collected during 1949 so that the U.J.A. will obtain funds in proportion to the critical situation facing its agencies.

The convention also unanimously adopted a resolution calling on President Truman to “lend the weight of his influence in the United Nations to insure a solution of the problem of Jerusalem that shall be both equitable and practical.” The resolution also urged the President to “use his good offices to prevent any attempts by other governments to alter or to reduce Israel’s rightful boundaries “and to promote the successful conclusion of “the current negotiations for formal endurable peace between Israel and the Arab states.”


The Jewish community of America must be roused “to a frenzy of excitement about the need for cash so that it will pour into the offices of the United Jewish Appeal and out to Israel,” Henry Morgenthau, Jr., general chairman of the U.J.A., declared earlier today. Asserting that “so far we have only done fairly well,” Mr. Morgenthau told the delegates that “we haven’t begun to match the sacrifices of the Jews of Israel–even in terms of mere dollars.” Attributing the only “fair” response to the U.J.A. campaign for funds, to the fact that “maybe we were a little scared by talk about a recession,” he added, whatever the reason, “the fact remains that we should have done more and more and could have done more.”

Israel Ambassador Eliahu Elath, a featured speaker, stressed “that there is no desire on the part of the Government of Israel to intervene in the internal affairs of the Jewish community in the United States.” The Ambassador said this after quoting a statement by Prime Minister David Ben Gurion made Oct. 18 to U.J.A. delegates in Israel, in which Ben Gurion asked American Jewry for technicians. “What we expect from American Jewry, we also expect from the Jews in England, South Africa, France, Australia, and other countries: that they join with us in the common effort to make of Israel a haven for the persecuted, a home for the oppressed, and a center for the spiritual values and moral principles that have been cherished and upheld by Jews everywhere throughout the centuries.”

A current deficit of $42,708,577 by the U.P.A. in the first nine months of 1949 is causing an economic crisis which “may spell disaster for the Jewish state unless American Jewry quickly mobilizes additional financial aid,” Judge Morris Rothenberg, U.P.A. acting national chairman, said lest night. The Israelis “are draining themselves to the danger point to help the newcomers,” Judge Rothenberg added. He said that at the mid-point of October, the U.P.A. campaign had realized $34,000,000 less than at the same time last year. The 1948 figure was $131,262,000, while this year it stands at $96,681,000.

Dr. Nahum Goldmann, chairman of the American section of the Jewish Agency, called on American Jewry to give priority to the needs of Israel even if it means postponing local Jewish community programs, declaring that the economic crisis in Israel has reached “a dangerous phase.” He urged Jewish leaders “to stand vigilant against tendencies to develop priority for local needs which seek to absolve American Jewry from its responsibility with regard to Israel.”

Louis Lipsky, chairman of the American Zionist Council, urged the U.S. Government “to bring to an end Israel’s political torture” by refusing to “give its sponsorship to schemes which are impractical and unjust” such as the United Nations plan for the internationalization of Jerusalem. Calling the internationalization scheme “a vulgar offense against history,” Mr. Lipsky said, “why then should our government, with its fine record on the Palestine question, lend itself to a scheme which will not at the same time take the ancient city of Jerusalem out of its predestined traditional setting?” Mr. Lipsky added that “the political harassments to which the state of Israel have been subjected have added greatly to its economic burdens.”

In a message to the delegates, Israel Finance Minister Eliezer Kaplan declared that “your response and readiness and the most energetic and devoted effort in local communities to mobilize funds required by U.P.A. agencies are imperative.” Unless large sums are received through the U.J.A. and the U.P.A., Mr. Kaplan said, it is unlikely that the immigrants who have arrived and will continue to arrive can be turned into productive citizens. “The whole Yishuv is confident that the American Jewish community will not desert them in this hour of critical need,” he said.

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