JERUSALEM (Jul. 17)
The time has come to place the question of Soviet Jewry before the bar of public opinion, Dr. Nahum Goddmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, reiterated here today during the general debate in the Zionist Actions Committee.
Replying to criticism from veteran Zionist Dr. Itzhak Gruenbaum who opposed making an international question of the plight of Russian Jewry, Dr. Goldmann revealed that he had met during the past year with a number of Russian representatives and believes that there are good prospects for the demand, through contacts in the Communist governments of Eastern Europe, for the right of Soviet Jews to migrate to Israel. He cautioned, however, that Jewish demands must not be transformed into a crusade against the USSR.
Jacques Torczyner, leader of the Zionist Organization of America, told the Actions Committee that were it not for the Zionist movement, American Jewish efforts in behalf of Israel would be a failure. At the same time, he paid tribute to the all-out support of American Jewry for Israel during the Sinai campaign. Mr. Torezyner agreed with Dr. Goldmann on the need for closer relations between the Israel Government and the Zionist movement.
During the debate, Mizrachi delegate Benyamin Shaher cited the “injustice” of the status of rabbis and the lack of rabbis in the settlements. Another Mizrachi delegate. Yeshayahu Bernstein, charged that only one-third of the 14,000 children and young people now in Youth Aliyah institutions were receiving a religious education, although more than a third of them came from Orthodox families.
Mrs. Bertha Schoolman, leader of Hadassah, the American women’s Zionist organization, who is responsible for Hadassah activities in the Youth Aliyah movement, denied Mr. Bernstein’s assertion that 3,000 children from Orthodox homes had been placed in non-religious centers. She called such a situation “inconceivable,” Madam-delegate Shlomo Rosen urged an increase in the Jewish Agency’s budget for pioneering activities among the youth, asserting that this would also bring to Israel the middle class elements sought by many Zionist leaders.