NEW YORK (Oct. 18)
Dr. William Haber, president of the American ORT Federation, told delegates to the 13th biennial convention of Women’s American ORT at the Waldorf-Astoria today that the half-million Jews of North Africa are “caught between the hammer of Arab nationalism and the anvil of French rule.” On a recent visit to Morocco, he said, he found tension and insecurity widespread.
He asserted that there is no simple solution to the plight of North African Jews. “Thirty-five thousand will go to Israel this year,” he said, “But nobody pretends that emigration is the whole answer.” In view of the tremendous yearly increase in population among the Jews of North Africa, mass emigration, he declared, “would be a catastrophe for Israel as well as for North African Jewry.”
Because of Israel’s already difficult problems of integrating large groups of newcomers, Dr. Haber told the convention group, all welfare programs for North African Jews must be expanded as a “preventive measure” to avoid worsening of conditions that would impel a mass exodus to Israel.
Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, executive vice-president of the Israel Bond Organization, who spoke at the Women’s ORT convention last night, praised the work of the ORT and noted that both the “activities of the ORT and the development programs financed through State of Israel Bonds have a great deal in common. Both are based on the principle of building self-reliance.” Rabbi Charles Shulman of New York spoke in behalf of the United Jewish Appeal.