J. N. F. Convention Decides to Raise $38,000,000 in Five Years
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J. N. F. Convention Decides to Raise $38,000,000 in Five Years

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A five-year plan for the raising of $38,000,000 in the United States by the Jewish National Fund to help implement a projected Joint Authority for land development in Israel was adopted here today at the conclusion of the three-day “Land for Security” assembly of the JNF of America. Some 500 community and Zionist leaders from all parts of the country attended the parley.

Dr. Harris J. Levine, president of the JNF of America, presenting the plan to the convention, noted that the $38,000,000 quota sought of American Jewry constituted 70 percent of the Joint Authority’s five-year budget of $53,000,000. He revealed that both the Israel Government and the JNF would participate in the authority, which will develop and manage all public lands in the Jewish State. The government will transfer to the authority all the public lands it now holds, notably the lands deserted by the Arab refugees during the War for Independence. The JNF will transfer to the authority all the lands it has acquired in Israel in the last 54 years.

Dr. Levine also announced completion of the Huleh drainage project, major project of the American JNF for the past several years, which will provide Israel with 15,000 acres of irrigated land on which will be established some 2,000 farming units. He revealed that the JNF’s contribution to the security of Israel was the provision of land on which 180 settlements along the borders have been set up, and the planting of dense frontier belts of some 250,000,000 trees.

After reviewing Israel’s current situation, the delegates adopted a declaration to the effect “that we shall not rest until the security of Israel is fully assured.” The resolution said the “call goes out to all Jews of the United States to rally around Israel, to ally themselves on the side of the Jewish State through the Jewish National Fund, to the end that the cause of peace and freedom, of which Israel is the foremost representative in the Middle East, may triumph over its adversaries.”


Senator Alben W. Barkley and Israel Ambassador Abba S. Eban joined in an appeal for a conclusion of peace between the Arab states and Israel, Ambassador Eban praised the JNF as “a pioneer in the international movement for the development of neglected lands.”

In his first address to a Jewish organization since his election to the United States Senate last November, Sen. Richard L. Neuberger of Oregon, called on American Jews to help Israel develop the Negev. The Oregon legislator, who became the second Jew to serve in the present Senate–the other is Sen. Herbert H. Lehman of New York–told the delegates: “To become self-supporting economically, Israel relies upon the vision and unselfishness of millions of faithful backers all over the world, particularly in the United States.”

Dr. Nahum Golmann, chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency, told the parley that the character of the JNF’s work symbolized the highest ideals of the Zionist movement and the Jewish people. He said “no other institution or instrument of the Zionist movement symbolizes and expresses, in the measure in which Keren Kayemeth does, all the great ideals and visions of Zionism at their best.”

Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the American Jewish Congress, defended Israel’s position in the controversy with Egypt over the Gaza clash. He said the incident “regarded in the larger context of the problem” was “the latest evidence that the present situation between Israel and its hostile neighbors is an untenable one.” He said “a vigilant armistice commission is no solution. The only solution is peace.”

Louis Lipsky, veteran Zionist leader, spoke on the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Theodor Herzl, extolling Dr. Herzl for his “prophetic vision” in founding the JNF. The JNF, said Mr. Lipsky, provided comfort to Dr. Herzl in the last years of his life because it was seen as a practical instrument of redemption in which the Jewish masses would participate and through which they would live their Zionist lives.

At the dinner concluding the convention, Mendel N. Fisher, rounding out 20 years of service as executive director, was presented with a citation for “extraordinary service” to the Jewish National Fund. At the same time, Dr. Levine announced that a Mendel N. Fisher Forest in Israel, numbering 20,000 trees, will be planted in tribute to Mr. Fisher for his 20 years of “unexampled devotion to the cause of the redemption of the land of Israel.

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