American Jewish “study Mission” in Israel Visits Ben Gurion
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American Jewish “study Mission” in Israel Visits Ben Gurion

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The 35-man study mission of the United Jewish Appeal now in Israel as part of its tour of assessment of needs in various parts of the world, visited former Prime Minister David Ben Gurion at Sdeh Boker today. The group will start a four-day tour of Israel tomorrow to investigate the latest developments in all phases of the country’s growth.

Addressing the UJA study mission this week-end, Dr. Giora Josephthal, treasurer and head of the absorption department of the Jewish Agency, appealed for help from the United Jewish Appeal for the accomplishment of five basic tasks. The tasks he outlined were:

1. To give settlements equipment, water, capital and security; 2. To enlarge educational facilities for thousands of immigrant youth; 3. To eradicate some 75 transition villages that still mar the Israel landscape; 4. To provide homes for the helpless and aged among newcomers; 5. To hasten the integration of new immigrants from North Africa, who have been deprived of educational and economic opportunities.

Dr. Josephthal termed the implementation of this program a “must,” but said that the highest priority during the next three years would be given to agricultural settlement. He also stressed that the Jewish Agency had ruled out the creation of new transit camps and would, instead, transfer newcomers directly from the ships in which they arrived to settlements prepared in advance.

He cautioned, however, that a firm economic foundation must still be created for many recently established settlements. Pointing out that the Agency had invested $270,000,000 in new farm villages since the establishment of the state, he noted that another $120 to $130 million must still be invested to make them self-supporting. This process would take another four years, he said, but if the time could be shortened it would represent a tremendous saving in manpower.

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