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Labor Convention Asks Russia to Permit Emigration of Jews

A resolution asking the Soviet Government to permit free emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union was adopted here today at the closing session of the three-day annual convention of the National Committee for Labor Israel, at which a two-year drive to raise $10,000,000 for Histadrut projects in Israel was launched. Delegates from more than 100 communities in the United States and Canada presented a “down payment” of $1,000,000 in cash toward the 1957-58 target of $5,000,000. The second $5,000,000 will be sought during 1958-59.

In addressing themselves to the Soviet Government, the delegates pointed out that the Jewish community of Russia, cut off from the main body of world Jewry for 40 years, retainedits desire for survival and for association with the renaissance taking place in the State of Israel, Another resolution, addressed “to the powers of the East and of the West,” called for the cessation of arms shipments to the Arabs of the Middle East, “since the build-up of armaments in the hands of unstable, irresponsible cliques can only lead to conflagration that will embroil the entire world.”

The convention also adopted a resolution expressing hope for the full recovery of President Eisenhower from his current indisposition. A resolution also congratulated Israel’s President Itzhak Ben Zvi a founder of Histadrut 37 years ago, upon his reelection to the Presidency of Israel earlier this month. Joseph Schlossberg was reelected chairman; Max Zaritsky, treasurer; Joseph Kaplow, associate treasurer; and Dr. Dov Biegun, secretary.

In his annual report to the convention, Dr. Biegun reported that the Israel Histadrut Campaign had raised $3,650,000 during the previous fiscal period, including funds raised by the Pioneer Women’s Organization for the Working Women’s Council of Histadrut. Histadrut is the general labor federation of Israel, which in addition to its trade union activities, fosters the country’s largest medical organization, Kupat Holim, which serves 1,200,000 men, women and children. Kupat Holim, according to Dr. Biegun, will get 35 percent of the $10,000,000 for the purpose of expending its hospital and outpatient clinic facilities. One medical center is already under construction in the Negev.

The delegates heard a recorded speech from Abba Eban, Israel Ambassador to the United States. Mr. Eban told delegates that “the Arab mind will have to understand that what we have accomplished in Israel will endure.” Dr. Judd L. Teller, political secretary of the Jewish Agency, said there was little likelihood that the synagogue and the temple alone can preserve Jewish culture in America. “Drawing on Israel’s Jewish culture, American Jews may hope to develop their own vigorous creativity,” he said. “Divorced from the Israel generator, American Jewish culture may be reduced to a diminishing and fading ritualistic folklore.

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