JOHANNESBURG (Sep. 5)
South African Jewry’s deep concern over the tense Gaza border situation, and its solemn pledge to support Israel’s efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East, were voiced here this week-end in a joint resolution by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the South African Zionist Federation at a session of the 20th biennial congress of the Board at Coronation Hall here. The congress, which is being attended by 400 delegates from all parts of the Union of South Africa, also expressed concern over developments affecting the Jews of North Africa.
Israel A. Maisels, in his presidential address to the delegates, stressed the Board’s non-political role and its unwillingness to express political opinions. There were, he added, “no ready-made formulas” for adjusting differences among the varied racial segments of South Africa. Within the “white section,” he noted, developments were along the lines of cultural pluralism “and in that pattern, Jews have their rightful place.”
Mr. Maisels went on to say that the common aim of all the delegates was to build a strong community, capable of playing its role at home and in the solution of world Jewish problems. “In this pattern,” the Board leader asserted, “we realize that the future of Jewry now rests upon Israel and the Jews of the Western world.”
The main problems facing the congress, he continued, were the development of programs to attract those sections of Jewish youth here who are in danger of falling prey to apathy and assimilation and the reaching of an agreement on the proportionate financing of all necessary programs of the Board of Deputies and its partner organizations, through the United Communal Fund–South African Jewry’s domestic financial arm.