Cooperation of American Jewish Builders Sought by Israelis

A move for the establishment of a worldwide “circle of friends” of private building contractors in Israel with headquarters in the United States, was outlined here today by David Elpern, representing the Federation of Building Contractors’ Association in Israel, sponsors of the project.

Mr. Elpern, who arrived here from Israel, explained that the aim of the worldwide group, whose membership would be drawn from among Jewish builders, would be to establish contact between Israeli builders and their overseas counterparts, the working out of specific technical problems, and the investigation of possibilities for investment and cooperation of overseas builders in Israeli projects. The Israeli representative also outlined plans for the convening of a world parley of Jewish builders, timed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Israel, to be held in Jerusalem in the spring of 1958.

Mr. Elpern, who is managing director of Ramet, Ltd., also described the work of the Federation in Israel, which is composed of 520 private building contractors organized in 14 branches. The Federations four divisions are organized as an economic corporation, concerned with the distribution and marketing of basic building materials; Otazr Hakblanim, its central financial institution the Israeli-Swiss Investment of Building Corporations, Ltd., and investment group for special projects, with the participation of European investors; and “Hakablan v’Haboneh,” a trade newspaper.

In addition to his activities on behalf of the Federation, Mr. Elpern will seek U.S. participation for two Ramet projects. Under the first, he will contact various Polish landsmanshaften for possible participation in building housing for the expected increase in Polish emigrants on Ramet land near Tel Aviv. The second would involve the investment by Americans in mortgage financing, under which they would receive six percent interest in a five-year period in dollars, and share in the profits of each project in Israel pounds.

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