Jewish Agency in New York Gets Preliminary Report on Debt Structure

A preliminary report on the debt structure of the Jewish Agency was presented at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. by Max M. Fisher of Detroit, chairman of the Agency’s finance committee, it was announced here today.

Mr. Fisher reported that his committee noted that the Jewish Agency debts had obviously been incurred over the past 12 years in order to finance large-scale rescue and absorption activities whose costs far exceeded receipts from the UJA during the years of mass immigration. The committee felt that these debts cannot be liquidated within a short period of time without seriously affecting the ongoing rehabilitation and resettlement programs of the Jewish Agency in Israel.

The committee, therefore, recommended that the debt of the Jewish Agency and the Consolidation Loans, undertaken by various communities at the request of the UJA, should be refinanced on a long-term basis. Mr. Fisher’s committee further recommended that starting with the fiscal year 1961/62, a portion of the Jewish Agency’s annual income be set aside to liquidate the deficit within a fixed period of time. The recommendation was approved in principle by the Board.

Mr. Fisher indicated that the finance committee will continue its study of the debt situation and have a proposal ready for submission to the communities before the end of the year. He stressed, however, that these recommendations would be based on a ‘normal flow of immigration.’ Any unforeseen resurgence of mass immigration and resultant expansion of Jewish Agency activity would obviously call for a revamping of the debt liquidation program.

Dewey D. Stone, chairman of the board of directors, reported that the appointment of Dr. Isador Lubin as consultant to the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. “has met with a positive response from the American Jewish community.” Dr. Lubin, who attended the meeting, said that he intended to leave for Jerusalem by the end of July, and expected to return to New York by the end of September to submit his preliminary report on the 1960/61 budget to the Board of Directors. During his stay in Israel, Dr. Lubin will lay the foundations for the permanent Israel office of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc.

Mr. Stone announced that a subsequent meeting of the Board of Directors will be convened in Israel during the second half of October to coincide with the UJA Study Mission. At this meeting final budget allocations for 1960/61 will be determined.

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