NEW YORK (Jan. 27)
A ten-year agricultural plan designed to make Israel self-sustaining in food production and costing $840,000,000–the major portion of which will be provided by American Jews–has been launched by the United Palestine Appeal agencies in conjunction with the Israel Government, it was announced here today by Rudolf G. Sonneborn, U.P.A. national chairman, in a report to the annual meeting of the agency’s Board of Directors.
Mr. Sonneborn, who was re-elected national chairman of the U.P.A. for the second successive year, said that the implementation of the plan is divided into a three-year period of initial settlement and agricultural development and a seven-year period of consolidating and intensifying agricultural growth. For the first period, capital totaling more than $532,000,000 will be required for agricultural production to provide sufficient food supplies for a population of 2,000,000. An additional $308,000,000 will be needed to complete the plan’s projects in the subsequent seven years. The plan calls for the establishment of 66,000 farm units by the end of 1954.
Ellis Radinsky, U.P.A. executive director, announced that the name of the United Palestine Appeal will be changed to United Israel Appeal. He also reported that as of the beginning of this year, the U.P.A. has been re-organized to represent in this country the Keren Hayesod and the Jewish Agency. The Jewish National Fund, which had been a constituent of the U.P.A., will now function as an independent entity carrying out its traditional collections in this country.
The United Israel Appeal and the Joint Distribution Committee have reached an agreement on the distribution of funds yielded by this year’s United Jewish Appeal drive, he reported. Of the first $55,000,000 distributed among the agencies, the United Israel Appeal would receive 67 percent and the Joint Distribution Committee 33 percent. Of all funds beyond $55,000,000 distributed by the U.J.A., the United Israel Appeal is to receive 87-1/2 percent and the Joint Distribution Committee, 12-1/2 percent.
Berl Locker, co-chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, who is currently in this country, warned that the rising costs of transportation, food and equipment will increase sharply the budgetary needs of U.I.A. agencies. He said that in 1952 at least $40,000,000–$4,000,000 more than last year–will be needed for the immigrants’ transportation to Israel and for their reception and initial care.
Benjamin G. Browdy was elected chairman of the Board of Directors of the U.I.A., Abraham L. Liebovitz was named treasurer and Joseph Mazer chairman of the National Council. The Board of Directors, which is made up of 120 members, is reconstituted yearly with 60 percent of the membership representing the various Zionist organizations and with 40 percent as delegates from Jewish communities throughout the country. A testimonial dinner was tendered to Robert Silverman, secretary of the U.P.A., to mark “50 years of dedicated and devoted labors in behalf of Zionism and the re-birth of the Jewish people.”