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Conference of Jewish Federations Votes to Intensify Aid to Israel

Resolution pledging “intensified efforts” to enable Israel to absorb more immigrants in 1958, and appealing to Congress to liberalize the American immigration laws, were adopted here at a two-day regional conference of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, More than 200 Jewish community leaders from 13 states participated in the assembly.

Other resolutions called attention to the “rapidly changing developments” in Jewish community services locally in each city and urged “imaginative new programs with a. broad community approach.” The resolutions advocated year-round programs to recruit and train young men and women for communal leadership; comprehensive recruitment programs, involving all Jewish agencies to overcome a shortage of professional personnel; and increased government support of health and welfare services, locally, state-wide and nationally.

Major speakers at the conference were Herbert R. Abeles, national president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, and Philip Bernstein, executive director. Mr. Abeles reported that more than 70,000 Jewish refugees from Hungary, Egypt and Poland, poured into Israel during 1957. “The problems were clear,” he said, “and the American Jewish communities responded. Overall, 11 percent more than in 1956–some 28 to 30 million dollars for the UJA Rescue and on top of the regular allocation of 55 millions, and a total of over 140 millions raised for all needs–33 percent more than In 1955.”

Observing that the trouble spots from which some 90,000 Jews fled in 1957–70,000 to Israel and another 20,000 to other countries–still existed and still presented the same danger, Mr. Abeles warned of a continued exodus. “How many will come out in 1958 no one knows, but as many as will come out we will help, “he declared.

Mr. Abeles urged intensified efforts at raising the necessary; funds to meet needs. He offered a program for strengthened fund-raising which included a reexamination of campaign structures and techniques, the need for early planning, importance of concentration on big givers, enrolling enough campaign workers, canvassing the communities to reach new givers who have moved in, and concentration of the campaign into a brief but intensive period of activity.

Philip Bernstein outlined current trends in community organization, care of the aged, family service, child care and other areas of local services. The trend is towards greater services and of higher standards, he said. The communities want them and, by and large, are providing for them, he added. He called for strengthened community structures, expanded programs and increased integration of services. Only a strong community can provide adequately for its own needs and, at the same time, meet its full responsibility for national services and overseas needs, he said. Dr. George Piness of Los Angeles was elected president of the region.

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