U.S. Members of Jewish Agency Oppose Recruitment of American Jewish Youth for Israel
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U.S. Members of Jewish Agency Oppose Recruitment of American Jewish Youth for Israel

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American members of the Jewish Agency executive strongly opposed today a demand advanced by Israeli members that the recruitment of American Jewish youth for agricultural pioneering in Israel should become the primary function of the Zionist movement in the United States.

The issue was raised during the plenary session of the Jewish Agency executive now taking place here. The American members emphasized that the atmosphere in the United States is not conducive to such a move, although the recruitment of Chalutzim should be encouraged and supported.

The view of the American members was presented at the session by Hayim Greenberg and Mrs. Rose Halprin. Mr. Greenberg argued that the Zionist movement in America should concentrate on youth education which would inevitably result in the emigration of Jewish youth to Israel; it would be wasted effort to issue clarion calls for “ingathering American Jewish youth” to Israel.

Opposing Mr. Greenberg’s views were Berl Locker, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, and Eliahu Dobkin, head of the Agency’s immigration department. Mr. Dobkin said that had the Zionist movement in the United States spent as much money on the training and recruitment of Chalutzim as is being spent for the construction of one Jewish community center in America, there would have been a warm response on the part of American Jewish youth.

Mr. Dobkin warned that the success of Israel depends on the Jews from Oriental countries now migrating in large numbers to the Jewish state and on the flow of Chalutzim from the Western world who can bring their skills to Israel. The Zionist youth movement in the United States, he said, must be expanded, Zionist youth centers must be established and Hebrew must be taught to the Jewish youth everywhere “in order to bridge the lingual gap” between the countries outside of Israel are the Jewish state.

Addressing a conference here of Jewish youth leaders and representatives of Zionist youth movements, Mr. Dobkin pointed out that in addition to Chalutzim, the Zionist movement in the Western countries must send to Israel students and technicians as well as young people ready to volunteer for one year’s service of upbuilding the Jewish state. Participating in the conference were representatives from various American Zionist youth groups, as well as delegates from Latin American countries, Europe and North Africa.

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