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Farband Leader Wants Understanding of Jewish Life in U.S. by Israelis

The formation in Israel of a special information office “to relay to the Israeli population accurate and full understanding about Jewish life and activities in the United States,” was urged here last might at the opening session of the 19th quadrennial national convention of the Farband Labor Zionist Order attended by 500 delegates from all parts of the United States and Canada.

The suggestion was voiced by Meyer L. Brown, president of the organization, in his presidential address. “Understanding is a two-way street,” he declared. “Just as America and Israel are important, one to the other, so are the Jewish communities in these two sister republics and centers of freedom, democracy and justice. Either alone, or in concert with other Jewish organizations, we must give serious consideration to the creation of an apparatus for informing Jews in Israel about Jews in America–just as now, we strive, and often successfully, to interpret Israeli life to America.”

As an example of Farband’s interest in Israel, Mr. Brown noted the fact that, in addition to contributing large sums to many pro-Israeli causes here, Farband members have, in the past years, bought and sold to their friends a total of $35,000,000 worth of state of Israel bonds. Mr. Brown also called upon the world at large to establish an annual day of remembrance memorializing the martyrdom of the 6,000,000 Jews who perished during the Hitler regime.

Louis Segal, general secretary of the Farband, addressing the convention today, sharply attacked the theory held by some Jewish organizations that the elimination of intergroup tensions between Jews and non-Jews in this country must be a primary objective of the Jewish community. He called for a creative and vigorous Jewish life and for the building of American Jews into “a great Jewish community in this great land.”

Reporting on the activities of the Farband, Mr. Segal told the delegates that the organization now has a total of 35,922 members, in comparison with 30,653 on the membership rolls when the last convention was held in 1954 at Montreal. Almost 10,000 of the members organized in 70 branches, live in New York. Farband assets now total $5,397,830–in comparison with $3,952,675 at the time of the last convention.

Mr. Segal announced that the Farband is carrying forward vigorously a campaign to raise $500,000 to expand the Jewish Teachers Seminary in New York into a College of Jewish Studies. A charter for this new college has already been received, he announced, from the New York State legislature.

On the front of Zionist activity, Mr. Segal reported that “a conservative estimate indicates that the Farband membership raises about $4,000,000 a year for the United Jewish Appeal; about $650,000 annually for the Histadrut campaign; approximately $200,000 for the Jewish National Fund; and about $250,000 a year for cultural and educational causes, national and locally.”

A special report was given the membership by Leon Rubinstein who reported that the Farband educational program now includes 61 institutions, including seven day schools, 15 kindergartens, 31 afternoon schools and nine high schools.

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