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Israel Premier Expresses Appreciation to J.D.C. for Work in Israel

Premier David Ben Gurion of Israel today expressed his government’s “recognition and appreciation” of the “extensive and valuable work” of Malben, the Joint Distribution Committee’s program of assistance to disabled and handicapped immigrants in Israel. His thanks to Malben were expressed in a message to the meeting here of J.D.C.’s field directors, and was read by Dr. Chaim Sheba, director-general of the Israel Ministry of Health.

Charles Passman, J.D.C. director for Israel, reported to the five-day parley today that approximately 10,000 blind and disabled persons had been helped become productive members of society in Israel by the Malben program. This was done, he said, by four major projects: the establishment of 12 “sheltered workshops” where handicapped persons follow their trades under “protected” conditions; a central rehabilitation center where TB patients receive post-hospital medical care and vocational training; a village for the blind where the head of each of some 100 families is a sightless person who has been helped become self-supporting; and, the granting of rehabilitative loans to assist handicapped persons to open shops.

Disclosing that the average monthly case load for Malben in 1953 will exceed 20,000. Mr. Passman reported plans for expansion of the agency’s program in the next year. Firstly, he said, a new 500-bed tuberculosis sanatorium, the largest in the Middle East, will be completed in Beer Yaacov. Secondly, a vast new village for the aged, with facilities for 1,000 persons, will be built at Ein Shomer. In addition, various smaller projects will be completed and inaugurated next year.

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