NEW YORK (Jun. 9)
The United Jewish Appeal today reached a mid-year standing of $44,865,000 in cash against this year’s pledges as funds totalling $14,000,000 were brought forward here by representatives of local campaigns across the nation.
More than 800 Jewish community leaders from all parts of the country attending the final session of the two-day National Rescue Conference of the United Jewish Appeal at the Hotel Roosevelt participated in this demonstration of American Jewry’s resolve to do everything in its power to rescue and resettle at least 100,000 Jewish refugees from oppression who are fleeing Egypt, Hungary, North Africa and Eastern Europe.
The Conference adopted a resolution calling upon American Jewry “to match the superhuman effort of the people of Israel in helping to absorb the new flood of refugees. Noting that American Jewry had been “awakened to its role and responsibility in the transmigration of Jews fleeing from terror, persecution and insecurity,” the resolution stated that the United Jewish Appeal has “high hopes that the Jews of the United States will not relax in their efforts until every Jew uprooted from his home has been resettled in Israel or some other free land.”
Of the $44,865,000 in cash, $32,540,000 represents payment of pledges to the regular 1957 campaign while the remaining $12,325,000 constitutes payment on pledges made to the $100,000,000 Emergency Rescue Fund. The regular campaign provides for the work of UJA’s three constituent agencies–the United Israel Appeal, Joint Distribution Committee and New York Association for New Americans. The Emergency Rescue Fund was set up this year to save and resettle an anticipated 100,000 or more new Jewish refugees in 1957.
William Rosenwald, UJA general chairman, declared that the meeting was an expression of the delegates “feelings of responsibility to our fellow humans who are in trouble or in want. We are dealing not simply with one refugee problem, but with one hundred thousand or one hundred and twenty thousand or one hundred and fifty thousand refugee problems. When we say every $1,000 saves a life, we are speaking the literal truth.
Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, executive vice-chairman of the UJA, declared that the “$44,865,000 is the greatest sum of cash brought in since 1949 for any first six-month period of the campaign.” He added that “the raising of $44,865,000 in cash in the past six months was made possible because the UJA is fortunate in having in its top leadership men and women of the highest calibre–dedicated persons who place their desire to help their fellow men above all other desires.” He cited the fact that 30 top UJA leaders had travelled 2,500,000 miles and visited 250 American communities in behalf of the Emergency Rescue Fund and regular 1957 campaign.
EBAN REPORTS IMPROVED RELATIONS BETWEEN THE U. S. AND ISRAEL
The delegates heard Israel Ambassador Abba Eban declare that Israel’s relationship with the United States has been steered through “a heavy tempest of crisis” into “a more trustful atmosphere.” They also heard Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, Senate Majority Leader, declare that Israel stands today as a “permanent and enduring sanctuary in the midst of what was once a desert.”
“The statements which we recently exchanged in Washington commit both our governments to resistance to aggression–and to vigilant respect for territorial integrity and political independence of Israel, as of other Middle Eastern States,” Ambassador Eban told the UJA leaders. He noted that as a result of Israel’s victory in the Sinai Nassers despotism in Egypt now encounters a broader volume of salutary distrust throughout the world than ever before. “We shall not be faithful to this time of peace unless we make it a period of growing strength for Israel,” the Ambassador said. “To strengthen Israel and to promote peace in the Middle East are absolutely equivalent and identical terms.”
Israel’s chief concern today, he pointed out, is on the economic front “where arrival of new immigrants creates both a blessing and a problem. We trust that friendly governments and organizations will perceive the urgent need of helping Israel sustain its new burdens and that the United Jewish Appeal will, as always, blaze the trail towards Israel’s progress and salvation.”
DR. GOLDMANN EXPRESSES HOPE MOSCOW WILL PERMIT JEWISH EMIGRATION
Addressing the conference, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the Jewish Agency, drew the attention of the delegates to the fact that “Israel has once again entered an era of large-scale immigration,” because the ban on immigration to Israel which certain Communist countries had imposed in the past few years has now been lifted to permit reunion of families.
“We are indeed grateful to those East European governments that have permitted this emigration in the face of difficulties and objections within their own ranks,” Dr. Goldmann continued, “but the very fact that the Governments of Poland and Hungary have permitted large-scale reunion of families, justifies our hopes that other East European countries, including the Soviet Union itself, may likewise one day permit Israel-bound immigration.”
Dr. Goldmann reported that the new immigration wave was bringing a new type of settler to Israel, “a type of immigrant that Israel badly missed in the past few years–men and women with talents and skills, knowledge and invaluable experience, capable of contributing immeasurably to Israel’s economic and intellectual growth.” This immigration, if continued, he said, may alter many aspects of Israel’s sociological physiognomy.
“Now, for the first time, an opportunity has presented itself to save that part of the Jewish people that contributed, in the course of several centuries, the central ideas which still inspire and guide contemporary Jewish life the world over. The redemption of these thousands of Jews whom their governments permit to emigrate and whom Israel is eager to receive, depends exclusively on the financial and economic assistance extended by Jews everywhere, “Dr. Goldmann emphasized.
The delegates voted the resolution today to intensify fund-raising efforts to continue the resettlement of refugees in Israel and other free countries after hearing a report on the progress of immigration to Israel and a projection of the rate of refugee flow during the remainder of 1957 from Moses A. Leavitt, executive vice-chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee.
Mr. Leavitt pointed out that in the first five months of 1957 come 60,000 men, women and children, chiefly from Eastern Europe, Egypt and North Africa, were moved to places of refuge with UJA aid. The vast majority–some 42,000–received haven in Israel; between 8,000 and 9,000 were moved to the United States, South America and other areas while a similar number were given temporary refuge in Europe. Stressing the fact that “we are today in the midst of the greatest movement of Jewish refugees since 1949 and 1950, “Mr. Leavitt hailed the response of American Jews to the refugee crisis.