NEW YORK (Jun. 22)
The first United Jewish Appeal Young Leadership Mission, which returned here tonight from a three-week, intensive study of current Jewish progress and problems in Europe and Israel, has resulted in the formation of “a solid basis for future UJA leadership, ” Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, executive vice-chairman of the UJA, declared.
Rabbi Friedman led the mission, which consisted of 140 American Jewish communal leaders, ranging between the ages of 30 and 40 from 42 communities all over the United States. Terming the first UJA mission of the kind “a complete success, ” the executive said that plans are now being formulated to repeat the mission each year as an annual event.
The members of the mission had spent three days in Europe on the way to Israel, meeting with Charles H. Jordan, director-general of overseas operations for the Joint Distribution Committee; Samuel Haber and Herbert Katzki, of the JDC Geneva headquarters staff; Max Braude, overseas director for ORT, and other leaders of agencies aiding distressed Jews in Europe, Asia and Africa.
In Israel, the Americans interviewed leaders of the Government, including President Izhak Ben-Zvi, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, other members of the Israel Cabinet, and the heads of various Israeli cultural and economic institutions. They toured the entire country, interviewed new Jewish immigrants arriving at the Port of Haifa, and examined Israel’s accomplishments in science, education and technology. Mission members, many of them accompanied by their wives, paid their own way.
“This mission has been one of the most inspiring undertakings in United Jewish Appeal history, ” Rabbi Friedman declared. “With the full and warm cooperation of the Israel Government, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the people of Israel themselves, and with the outstanding assistance of the American Joint Distribution Committee in Israel and Europe, these 140 young American leaders of tomorrow have received a never-to-be-forgotten view in close-up of Israel’s way of life, and of the status of Jews in various European and African countries.
“The United Jewish Appeal will surely reap a rich reward of understanding and dedicated volunteer leadership in its future campaigns as a result of this mission. The members of the mission have been moved, impressed and inspired by what they saw. Going home now, determined to work and give more, they form a solid basis for UJA leadership.”