NEW YORK (Nov. 20)
The United Jewish Appeal last night set in nation a drive to raise a special fund of $25,000,000 “over and above” the full amounting hopes to collect through its regular 1956 nationwide campaign. The sum raised for the special fund will go exclusively to the immigration aid program of the Jewish Agency, which is now engaged in bringing over and settling in Israel 45,000 Jews from Morocco and Tunisia.
Launching of the special drive yesterday followed an emergency meeting on Friday at which more than 300 representatives of the country’s major Jewish communities voted for the drive. Their action came after a personal plea from Israel Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett in which he called upon Jews in the free world, and especially in the United States, to “bear the brunt” at this time of Israel’s immigration, agricultural development and economic consolidation.
Mr. Sharett stated that Israel regards the reception, absorption and resettlement of North African Jews a priority task in view of the fact that so many have asked to come. “It must be the concern of American Jews.” Mr. Sharett declared, “to see to it that this highly creative work, upon the success of which our entire future rests, should not only not be jeopardized by the present emergency but should, by very reason of it, expand and prosper.”
The plan for raising the extra $25,000,000 was presented to the 300 community leaders at the emergency conference by William Rosenwald, general chairman of the UJA, Edward M. M. Warburg, UJA president, and Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, executive vice-chairman of the UJA. The plan as adopted “enjoins the United Jewish Appeal to take immediate steps to raise a special UJA fund of $25,000,000 to be separate from, and additional to, the sums that the UJA will raise in 1956 through its regular nationwide campaign.”
U.J.A. LEADERS TO VISIT EVERY MAJOR COMMUNITY WITHIN 30 DAYS
The UJA National Campaign Cabinet approved a plan today for its 57 members to visit every major Jewish community in the country in the next 30 days to secure commitments to the $25,000,000 special fund. Mr. Warburg, who is also chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, a constituent and beneficiary organization of the UJA, reported that the “JDC is waiving all rights to participation in the special fund so that it can go in its entirety for immigration and absorption in Israel.”
William Rosenwald, general chairman of the UJA, in keynoting the special drive at a meeting of the Appeal’s top-level National Campaign Cabinet, termed it “an emergency departure from the UJA’s accustomed fund-raising procedure necessitated by the grave arms crisis imposed on the freedom of the people of Israel by the Communist-Egyptian weapons arrangement.” He emphasized that “the Communist arming of Egypt has seriously limited the ability of the Israel Government to contribute to the Jewish Agency’s immigration programs, thereby making it necessary and imperative that American Jews lift this burden from the people of Israel to the fullest extent.”
Mr. Rosenwald, who returned last week from visits to Israel and Europe, reported that close to 10,000 Jews from disturbed Morocco and Tunisia had arrived in Israel in the past ten weeks and that these were part of 45,000 North African Jews scheduled to come to Israel by next September. Samuel H. Daroff of Philadelphia, chairman of the National Campaign Cabinet, stated that close to 100,000 Jews in Morocco and Tunisia have registered for emigration to Israel. Senator Herbert H. Lehman of New York endorsed this call for aid and urged that American Jews rally in force behind the United Jewish Appeal.