JERUSALEM (Jul. 19)
A series of consultations between members of the overseas delegation of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds and top government officials and leaders of American-supported philanthropic agencies in Israel has just been concluded, it was announced here by Irving Kane, Cleveland, CJFWF president and head of the delegation, prior to his return to the United States.
The meetings, which Mr. Kane described as “very arduous but very satisfying,” ranged over a vast area, but concentrated especially on the primary responsibilities of American Jewish community organizations in relation to Israel’s needs.
Mr. Kane indicated that he expected a series of recommendations on immigration, absorption, voluntary fund-raising here and in America, and the deepening of mutual understanding, to emerge as a result of the discussions, which will be presented for approval and action by the organized Jewish communities of the United States and Canada at the annual General Assembly of the CJFWF in Dallas, Texas, in November.
The Government-officials who took part in the talks–each in a separate discussion with the delegation–were: Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion; Finance Minister Levi Eshkol; Welfare Minister Yosef Burg; Labor Minister Giora Josephthal; Foreign Minister Golda Meir; Agriculture Minister Moshe Dayan; and Education Minister Abba Eban.
Jewish Agency representatives included: Moshe Sharett, chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency; A. L. Pincus, the new treasurer; Moshe Avidor, the director general; Moshe Rivlin, the secretary general, and a number of others responsible especially for the immigration, absorption, agricultural settlement, housing, and other aspects of the Agency’s work. Also participating were the directors and staffs of the JDC-Malben, ORT, institutions of higher education, the technical experts of the U.S. Operations Mission staff and other prominent Israelis from all walks of life.
Among the members of the CJFWF delegation who participated in the meetings were: Max M. Cuba, Atlanta; K.S. Goldenberg, St. Paul; Donald B. Hurwitz, Philadelphia; Lawrence Irell, Los Angeles; Bernard P. Kopkind, New Haven; Irving Levick, Buffalo; Louis P. Smith, Boston; Isidore Sobeloff, Detroit; Michael A. Stavitsky, Newark; Sol Satinsky and Morris Satinsky, Philadelphia; Henry L. Zucker, Cleveland; Philip Bernstein, CJFWF executive director, and S. P. Goldberg, CJFWF director of Budget Research.
IMPORTANT RECOMMENDATIONS TO U.S. JEWISH COMMUNITIES TO EMERGE
Mr. Kane indicated that the rising curve of immigration to Israel in the past three months received the very special attention of the American community leaders and declared:
“Our programs in America for helping to meet Israel’s immigration and absorption needs were viewed in the larger perspective of the total measures which might be taken here in Israel as well–all of which it was agreed, are closely interrelated. They included setting of philanthropic budget priorities and adjustments, tighter control of competing multiple appeals, debt controls, clearer division of responsibilities between the government and the Agency, and the implementation of new procedures for grants to constructive enterprises.”
Mr. Kane stated that the delegation was encouraged by the interest expressed by Israeli leaders in the possibilities of greater voluntary fund-raising in Israel even though all recognized “the heavy burden the citizens are carrying through taxations for welfare needs and the voluntary contributions already being made.” He said that his group will “have definite recommendations on how we can cooperate in such a development.”
Other recommendations that Mr. Kane expects to emerge from the delegation’s report back to the Jewish communities of the U. S. include “measures for helping to strengthen basic social services, availability of expert technical personnel desired by Israelis and clarification of those responsibilities which may be most appropriate for American Jewry in our continuing relationships.”
A deepening mutual American-Israel understanding beyond the dimension of financial aid is being sought by both countries, Mr. Kane stressed. He said that the delegation is preparing a list of suggestions to enable Israelis to get a better knowledge of what American Jewish life and community organization are really like and, on the other hand, to give American Jews a more accurate picture of life in Israel.
The consultations in Israel followed a series of meetings with European Jewish community leaders in London and Paris. In London the group met with the heads of the Central British fund for Jewish-Relief and Rehabilitation, and with the heads of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Anglo-Jewish Association, Jewish Board of Guardians–the central agency for local welfare services–and others.
In Paris, the delegation conferred with officers of the Fonds Social Juif Unifie, which parallels American federations and welfare funds; leaders of the Standing Conference of European Jewish Community Services, involving leaders from West Germany, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Italy, and the Netherlands; and with the top European staff of the JDC. The delegation left Israel for Morocco where they will visit American-assisted programs and hold a series of discussions with Jewish community spokesmen and representatives of the Joint Distribution Committee.