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U.S. Jewry Asked to Finance Migration of North African Jews

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The growing migration of Jews from North Africa to Israel can “wreck” Israel’s economy and set it back five years unless an additional $35, 000, 000 is made available with the aid of American Jews to finance this influx and resettlement, according to a report by Dr. Giora Josephthal, treasurer of the Jewish Agency. The report was presented to an executive session of the United Israel Appeal board of directors.

Dr. Josephthal, who returned to Israel today after a brief visit, said that apart from the regular development and resettlement budgets of UIA agencies, a total of $35, 000, 000 is needed to pay for the transportation and productive settlement of 30,000 Jews who are expected to arrive from danger zones in North Africa within the next twelve months. Of Israel’s economy up to now, Dr. Josephthal said that in the past two years it had made “tremendous strides beyond some of our most hopeful expectations.” Rudolf G. Sonneborn, head of the UIA, in a financial statement covering the first nine months of this year, reported that expenditures by UIA agencies had lagged about $10, 000, 000 behind budgetary requirements. He said the budgetary needs for this period totalled $68, 715, 000, while the actual expenditures had reached a total of $58,138, 000. “Aside from falling seriously behind the minimal budget,” Mr. Sonneborn said, “UIA agencies in Israel were $5, 000, 000 short of their actual expenditures, leading them to incur a debt of that amount since January of this year.

Ellis Radinsky, executive director of the United Israel Appeal, reporting on the social problem cases in Israel, including the aged, the chronically ill and handicapped, said that, “the burden of the total caseload continues as a very heavy one for the people of Israel. ” He disclosed that during the past fiscal year the Ministry of Welfare, local authorities and volunteer organizations had spent approximately $15, 000,000 on direct aid to these social cases.

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