Rose Halprin Outlines Views on Western Immigration to Israel
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Rose Halprin Outlines Views on Western Immigration to Israel

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Mrs. Rose Halprin, Hadassah leader and member of the Jewish Agency executive, today outlined her views on immigration from Western countries to Israel at the World Zionist Congress session. She said that the next decade should provide Israel with its third million but this decade must be one of voluntary immigration in contrast to the first “distress Aliyah.”

Warning that voluntary Aliyah would not be attained by threats or disparagements, Mrs. Halprin stressed that a voluntary Aliyah also required preparations to assure adequate absorption facilities and the creation of a receptive atmosphere and fraternal intellectual climate. She said prospective American settlers were not seeking a favored status but only elementary sound decent living conditions to settle their families and take root in the Jewish State.

She proposed the creation of an authority to facilitate immigration from western countries, an authority which would exempt such newcomers from “formalities and restrictions.” She expressed the hope that non-Zionist groups would find means of Cooperating, particularly in the field of education.

Zionism’s tasks are Israel and the non-Israeli Jewish world and it would be a grave error to fortify the Jewish State and abandon the rest of the Jewish world, Mrs. Halprin declared.

Asserting that the Jewish dispersion was an established fact likely to continue to exist for 300 years or more, she warned that it might become a Jewish dispersion without Jewish content if immediate action were not taken to create strong and sound links between the Jewish State and the Jewish people.

Mrs. Halprin pleaded for immediate practical steps to enable “reaping the fruits” to be obtained from Hebrew education and Aliyah. She urged the convening of an international Jewish conference on Jewish culture and Hebraization in the non-Israel Jewish world because “these are pre-conditions, the obverse side of the coin of Aliyah.”


Dr. Emanuel Neumann, American General Zionist leader and member of the Jewish Agency executive, said the issues raised at the Congress by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Dr. Nahum Goldmann concerned the future of the Jewish people as well as the future of the Jewish State. He asserted that while American Zionists had not formulated a new philosophy affirming the permanence of Jewish dispersion as an article of faith, the American Jewish community of several million was likely to continue its existence for an indefinite period before “giving up the Jewish ghost.”

This position, he said, did not mean the abandonment of Zionist objectives, including maximum territorial concentration of Jews in Israel. He said Zionists outside of Israel were willing to promote Aliyah from their countries but the big question was how to bring this about.

More attention should be given, he contended, to successful absorption of immigrants in Israel. He proposed a special department of the Jewish Agency executive concentrating all services of absorption of immigrants from Western countries in close cooperation with the Israel Government. He asserted that the will for Aliyah must be preceded by an intense effort in Jewish education and that this should include young Israeli Jews abroad who often dissociated themselves from Jews saying, “We are Israelis, not Jews.”

Louis Segal, American Labor Zionist leader and member of the Jewish Agency executive, said the solution to the problem of immigration from the United States to Israel was in an appeal to the American spirit of pioneering and the creation of special absorption conditions for immigrants from the United States. Appeals should also emphasize the wholeness of Jewish life which was possible only in Israel, he said.

The main task of the Zionist movement, he added, was the spreading of Jewish education as the basis for Jewish consciousness which is the prerequisite for Zionist sentiments and certain Zionist actions. He pointed out that Aliyah from the United States had risen greatly during the past four or five years. In 1960, 1,061 American Jews settled in Israel, compared with the 300 annual average until 1955.

Rabbi Mordecai Kirshblum, American Mizrachi leader, and member of the Jewish Agency executive, argued that the problem of Aliyah from Western countries was a problem of education and not a problem for ideological discussions between leaders. He added that the idea of creation of panic to induce Jews to settle in Israel was suitable for anti-Semitic Poland but unsuitable for democratic United States.

Meir Grossman, a member of the Jewish Agency executive, proposed the transfer of the seat of the World Zionist Organization from Israel to some other country. He said the principal functions of the movements–Aliyah, hachshara, education and fund-raising–all were centered in the Diaspora. He recommended that only departments concerned with implementation of plans for absorption of immigrants should remain in Israel.

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