JERUSALEM (Jan. 5)
The World Zionist Congress today recessed its plenary sessions and split up into a number of committees dealing with immigration, youth, aliyah, halutzim, education, organization and finance. The committees will draft resolutions for submission to the congress upon the resumption of its plenary meetings.
Louis Segal, American Labor Zionist leader and member of the Jewish Agency executive in New York, told the committee on immigration and absorption that 10,000 American Jews have settled in Israel since establishment of the Jewish State. He said that 70 percent had become integrated and that the pace of American settlement was increasing. He added that the figure for 1960 was 1,200 settlers of whom 200 came initially as tourists.
He reported also that the majority of the American settlers was made up of young people 30 years of age and younger and another category of retired pensioners. The new arrivals, he said, included some 600 professionals and skilled workers. This number would increase if better absorption facilities were provided, he stressed.
A program for the absorption of 10,000 immigrants in five years, including special legislation giving the immigrant the same status as the investor, was presented by Leo Dultzin, head of the Economic Department of the Jewish Agency. He proposed the establishment of a joint Government-Jewish Agency authority for economic absorption along with the widening of the main branches of commerce and industry. The expansion, according to the proposal, would be done by the Government, the Agency and the immigrant, each contributing one-third.
The main prerequisites for carrying out the program, Mr. Dultzin said, were the establishment of institutions for immigrants from free countries, the merger of the Immigration and Absorption departments, the exemption of immigrants from taxes and the establishment of a bank for immigration and development.
NON-ZIONIST DELEGATES REPORT ON TRENDS IN THEIR COMMUNITIES
Delegates from non-Zionist groups continued to address the plenary session of the Congress prior to the adjournment of the plenary session. On behalf of the Jewish Communities of Brazil, the Congress was told by Dr. A. Steinbruch, a member of the Brazilian Parliament, that the very fact that he was both an active member of the Jewish community and a member of his country’s legislature “proves that the Jews of Brazil have full freedom.”
A trend toward assimilationism was reported from Uruguay. Y. Shapira, representative of the Uruguayan Central Jewish Committee, said that tendency was particularly evident among the Jewish youth in his country. To counter this trend, he advocated strengthening of the Zionist ranks.
Salomon Berlinger, representing the central Jewish youth organizations of four Scandinavian countries, said his 43-year-old organization supervised 23 youth clubs. He added that almost every other marriage involving Scandinavian Jews was a mixed one and therefore closer affiliation with the Zionist movement was a logical step.
D. K. Mann of the South African Board of Jewish Deputies appeared on behalf of the 120,000 South African Jews. He pointed with pride to the achievements of South African Jewry in settling in Israel and the high per capita response to appeals for funds for Israel.
A warning that “strong measures” must be taken in Australia against assimilationist tendencies was voiced by another of the speakers, M. D. Friedman, representative of the Australian Jewish Communities. Mr. Friedman said that 68,000 Jews in Australia “enjoy-richness of material resources,” but he expressed apprehensions about the “strong” assimilationist trend in his area. This trend, he said, must be combatted by a stronger program of Jewish education, as well as by stepped-up efforts for emigration of Australian Jews to Israel.
Dr. S. Bibring, representing the Central Committee of Mexican Jewry, reported about-the broad programs of Jewish educational and cultural activities conducted by his organization in Mexico. He said that 80 percent of the Jewish children in Mexico study in Jewish educational institutions.