CHICAGO (Dec. 3)
Establishment of the State of Israel “is an important factor in improving Jewish community relations in the United States, ” is the belief of Prof. Robert M. MacIver, author of the report and recommendations on Jewish community relations work which have stirred up a major controversy.
Prof. MacIver, who took part this week-end in a panel discussion of his proposals at the 20th General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, first publicly expressed his view on this question in reply to questions. He told the delegates that Israel was important in the community relations picture because it served “to remove the feeling that Jews were a people without a particular point of land to call their own.”
Subsequently, in a statement to the J.T.A., Prof. MacIver expressed his belief that “the existence of Israel is a point of support and focus of interest for all the Jewish people that will gradually permeate into the consciousness of other peoples. The State of Israel, “he added, “has a role to play and will have an increasing role in asserting the integrity of Jewish people everywhere.”
The noted sociologist declared that “homelessness” was one of the factors that created prejudice against the Jews. The existence of the State of Israel, he said. would gradually serve to weaken this prejudice and to create in the minds of those who held this prejudice, the status of equality of the Jews.
Bernard P. Kopkind, vice-chairman of the National Local Relations Committee of the C.J.F.W.F., reported at the Assembly that Jewish community welfare fund campaigns raised approximately $140,000,000 in 1951 for philanthropic causes in Israel, overseas and at home. This sum, he said, is approximately the same as the total raised in 1950. Communities, he added, will allocate this year an estimated $87,000,000 to the United Jewish Appeal. Because of changing needs, Israel will receive several millions of dollars more from the U.J.A. this year than in 1950.