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Rabbi Friedman Asks for Top Priority for U.J.A. in Fund-raising in U.S.

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An appeal for top priority for the United Jewish Appeal in the over-all fund-raising effort for Israel in the United States was voiced here today by Rabbi Herbert Friedman, executive vice president of the UJA at the session of the Zionist Actions Committee.

Recalling that Dr. Giora Josephtal, treasurer of the Jewish Agency, had told an earlier meeting of the Actions Committee that one-third more funds would have to be raised in order to cope with problems of immigration, the UJA leader warned that this could not be done “if business goes on as usual in the fund-raising world”–a reference to the fact that the United Jewish Appeal does not have a clear priority over other fund-raising activities in the United States.

Rabbi Friedman reported that the UJA had raised far more this year than in the previous year. He also compared UJA receipts for 1954 with those of 1948 when Jewish fund-raising in the U.S. reached its highest peak. Despite the drastic drop that contrast showed, he said that American Jewry is as interested in Israel now as it was in 1948, and attributed the decline in funds raised to the fact that the American Jewish community had lost the sense of priority of the United Jewish Appeal drive.

The UJA executive head went on to say that the Zionist world was not as active in fund raising as it should be He also stressed his absolute confidence in full cooperation between the UJA and the Israel Bond campaign, pointing out that he always mentioned bonds in his addresses for UJA and that Dr. Joseph Schwartz, who heads the bond campaign, performed the same service for UJA in his addresses on behalf of the bond drive. Rabbi Friedman said that fears expressed that bonds would be turned over in fulfillment of UJA pledges were now baseless.

Stressing the need for the development of a new generation of leaders of American Jewry, the UJA executive said that it must be brought home to the Jews of the United States that their responsibility does not end until new immigrants to Israel have been converted from “consumers to producers.”

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