C. J. F. W. F. Leaders Call for Revision of Immigration Law

A strongly-worded resolution calling for revision of the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act was adopted here at the close of a two-day regional conference of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. The parley was attended by 150 Jewish community leaders. The resolution urged support of a substitute immigration measure introduced by Senator Herbert Lehman.

The conference took action calling for development of community leadership; maximum fund-raising efforts this year and more effective central community organization to meet pressing needs in Israel and other overseas areas and to meet local and national needs here at home, and a final resolution calling for the unification of the fund-raising efforts of Israel’s institutions of higher learning.

Herbert Abeles of Newark reported that central Jewish community organizations have raised a billion dollars in the past seven years. With that assistance, he said, Israel was helped to absorb 700,000 refugees, the DP camps in Europe were emptied, refugees were resettled in the United States, Canada, South America, and elsewhere; and in America these funds have “built new community skylines”–hospitals, community centers, homes for the aged, synagogues, child care centers and other facilities and programs to meet local community needs.

Nevertheless, he pointed out, in Israel, Europe and North Africa people still need help to make them self-supporting. At home, he said, we still face the challenge of care for the aged, child care, Jewish education, family service, health and welfare programs and the strengthening of democracy. Warning that community fund raising has shown a sharp decline in recent years, he called for greater community effort and statesmanship to severse this trend and meet Jewish philanthropic obligations wherever they exist.

Philip Bernstein, associate director of the CJFWF, told the Jewish community leaders that Israel has embarked on a sound economic course towards self-sufficiency. The ability to develop that potential will determine how long and how great will be the need for continued philanthropic aid. The nation has adopted various fiscal reforms, stimulated agricultural production, restricted imports of raw materials and machinery within the limits of income from abroad and has also adopted a program of deflation and further austerity in an effort to build a sound economic structure, he reported.

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