Consolidation of All Israel Drives in America Urged at Economic Parley in Jerusalem
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Consolidation of All Israel Drives in America Urged at Economic Parley in Jerusalem

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A proposal that the United Jewish Appeal be expanded to include all other fund-raising drives for Israel conducted in the United States by various groups was supported here today by practically all American delegates participating in the urgent economic conference here called jointly by the Israel Government and the Jewish Agency executive.

The proposal was presented by Julian Venezky, United Jewish Appeal leader, and was favorably received by all speakers at today’s session of the conference. In supporting this proposal, American delegates expressed the opinion that if the recommendation is adopted, it might lead to the elimination of multiplicity of U.S. fund-raising campaigns for Israel.

Mr. Rose Halprin, president of Hadassah, which conducts its own fund-raising drive in America, told the conference that the special status of Hadassah and the functions of the organization do not make it possible for Hadassah to submerge its identity. However, she added that the entire Hadassah membership will support any decision reached at the conference.

The conference appointed two committees to deal with the major recommendations discussed at the meeting, including the proposal to float a $1,500,000,000 loan for Israel among Jews throughout the world. Rudolf G. Sonneborn of New York was named chairman of the summary committee and Herbert R. Abeles, of Newark, N.J., was appointed chairman of the finance committee. The summary committee will confer with Premier David Bon Gurion while the finance committee will consult with Finance Minister Eliezer Kaplan.


A detailed plan on stimulating private capital investments in Israel was submitted at today’s session of the conference by Adolph Robison, of West New York, N.J. The plan envisages a well-organized and detailed effort for the enlistment of private depital in the United States for large and small enterprises in the Jewish state. One part of the proposal calls for direct investments in small enterprises by individuals or small groups of American investors, while the second part calls for the establishment of large holding companies which would urge Jews in the United States to buy shares in these companies. The funds so accrued would be reinvested in Israel’s industry, he said.

Abraham Feinberg of New York proposed a three-point program consisting of: 1. Issue of a large bond issue for whose sale all organized forces in American Jewry should be mobilized; 2. Seek U.S. Governmental aid for Israel, a step which he thought would be successful: 3. Not eliminate regular fund-raising drives in America for Israel, but coordinate all of them into one campaign. Mr. Sonneborn supported the plans presented by Messrs. Venezky, Robison and Feinberg, and urged their adoption by the conference.

Stanley C. Myers, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, told the conference that the bond-selling effort in the United States would not be worthwhile unless it produced substantially greater funds for Israel than the total that could be realized from philanthropic drives. He endorsed Mr. Venezky’s proposal that all agencies raising funds for Israel in the United States be brought within the framework of the United Jewish Appeal.

Monroe Goldwater, vice-chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee and president of the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York, similarly supported the proposal that the U.J.A. be expanded to include all other groups in America now conducting separate drives for Israel. This, he said, would eliminate the problems arising out of the multiplicity of appeals for Israel in the United States. He stated that while the J.D.C. has not as yet taken any position with regard to the contemplated $1,500,000,000 loan by Israel, he personally felt that the sale of bonds in America would be injurious to the United Jewish Appeal.


Moses A. Leavitt, executive vice-chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, said that in meeting Israel’s needs several proposals must be considered. Firstly, the campaign of the United Jewish Appeal; secondly, the bond issue; thirdly, private investments; fourthly, inter-governmental aid. He maintained that more should be raised through the U.J.A. in 1951 than in 1950, but this, he said, would not be possible if the U.J.A. drive and the sale of Israel bonds in America would be conducted along the same lines. The need for philanthropic dollars has increased and will continue to increase during the next three years, he declared.

Mr. Leavitt urged that the Israel Government reconsider its policy of unlimited immigration in order to avoid economic disaster. Emphasizing that Israel’s doors cannot be closed, he nevertheless suggested that a way must be found to regulate immigration to the Jewish state. Warning that the announcement of the Israel bond issue might hurt the U.J.A., Mr. Leavitt supported Mr. Vonezky’s proposal for intensifying the U.J.A. drive on the basis of expanding it to include also all other drives for Israel conducted in the United States.

Dr. Joseph J. Sohwartz, European director of the J.D.C., took exception to Mr. Leavitt’s appeal for limiting immigration. He said that the Israel Government could not limit the immigration of Jews into the country even if it wished to do so. He reported that 8,500 Jews are at present being permitted to leave Rumania for Israel every month. Immigration to Israel, he said, cannot be reduced, unless the government of the Jewish state sends ships with immigrants back to the countries from where they sailed. This, he added, would lead to “illegal” immigration of Jews into Israel. He also declared that the J.D.C. favors any device for bringing more Jews to Israel and that if a combination of the U.J.A. and the sale of Israel bonds in America will achieve that end, the J.D.C. will fully support it.

Judge Morris Rothenberg, chairman of the United Palestine Appeal, endorsed Dr. Schwartz’ position with regard to the question of immigration. He said that the overwhelming majority of American Jews favors unlimited immigration to Israel. At the same time he agreed that the sale of Israel bonds in America might diminish the effectiveness of the United Jewish Appeal next year. However, he emphasized that the issuing of bonds for the projected $1,500,000,000 loan is essential in view of the tremendous needs which Israel will face during the coming three years.


Henjamin G. Browdy, prosident of the Zionist Organization of America, pledged the support of the Z.O.A. to any decision reached by the conference. Mr. Browdy said he believed a larger U.J.A. campaign in 1951 “faced good prospects.” This, however, is not enought, he stated. He endorsed the plan for a bond issue in con-

Samuel Rothberg, of Peoria, Ill., U.J.A. national chairman for initial gifts, said that the “need for philanthropy will continue, but it alone cannot meet the challenge of the present economic difficulties in Israel.” Asserting that Israel “must have top priority,” Mr. Rothberg called for a “supreme effort by American Jews to make available an unprecedented sum in the next three years.” The U.J.A. leader expressed the hope that “through a united effort of all Jewish groups in America, such a program of enlarged support can definitely be assured.

Joseph Hooding, of Cincinnati, stated that the bulk of the $1,500,000,000 which Israel needs can be raised in the United States. Adequate funds are available in America, he said, not only for Israel, but also for all local needs. Mr. Hooding suggested that all “organized forces in American Jewish life be utilized for the most effective development of Israel.” The Cincinnati Jewish leader expressed the belief that “economic conditions in the United States should facilitate large-scale investments” in the Jewish state. Mr. Hooding criticized the “red tape which now stands in the way of those who wish to invest in Israel.”

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