NEW YORK (Dec. 20)
State of Israel bond sales in the United States have totalled $51,000,000 thus far in 1956, and the year’s aggregate sales are expected to top the figures for 1952. The latter year was the first full twelve-month period of the drive, and sales then totalled $52,500,000.
These figures were among others announced today at a press conference held by Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, executive vice-president of the Development Corporation for Israel the body in charge of the bond drive.
The recent events in the Middle East have elicited enthusiastic responses from American Jewry, Dr. Schwartz declared, pointing out that bond sales in November–after Israel had launched its Sinai campaign–totalled $9,427,000 as compared with sales valued at $5,274,000 in October. The executive of the Israel Bond organization stated that he expected this month’s sales totals to go even beyond those for November.
Leading Jewish communities all over the country are responding to the bond drive far more actively than they did a year ago, Dr. Schwartz said. By comparison with 1955 sales, this year’s sales so far have been increased by 71 percent in Los Angeles, 45 percent in Chicago, 68 percent in Philadelphia, 47 percent in Miami, and 32 percent in Baltimore. Washington’s increase this year over last is almost 100 percent, Dr. Schwartz stated.
More than 100,000 bond purchasers attended Chanukah festivals in a number of large cities. New York held three festivals at Madison Square Garden, drawing a total of 54,000 purchasers; Chicago’s festival had an attendance of 14,000; Los Angeles, 10,000; and Philadelphia, 10,000. Boston is holding its Chanukah festival next Sunday. These sales and festivals, Dr. Schwartz declared, were the only genuine mass demonstrations staged by American Jewry as a sign of solidarity with Israel during a grave crisis.
Dr. Schwartz paid high tribute to Mrs. Golda Meir, Foreign Minister of Israel, who is here now heading her country’s delegation to the United Nations. In addition to attending to her arduous UN duties, Dr. Schwartz said, Mrs. Meir visited 25 Jewish communities in the United States and Canada, often traveling by air all night after spending the previous day and the following day at the United Nations. Her “dynamism,” he said, proved a great stimulus to the bond campaign and to the response toward Israel evoked from American Jewry.
Since the beginning of the bond drive, in the spring of 1951, Dr. Schwartz reported, a total of $273,000,000 worth of State of Israel bonds has been purchased in this country. Furthermore, he pointed out, practically all purchasers have held on to their bonds, instead of cashing them in, thus showing their faith in Israel both politically and financially.