Israeli Organizations Protest Zealots ‘slander’ of Youth Immigration

The management committee of Youth Aliyah, comprised of many leading organizations in Israel, voiced a strong protest today against disturbances caused by “irresponsible elements who embarked on a campaign of slander and distortion against Youth Aliyah.”

The committee, which is composed of representatives of the Jewish Agency, Hadassah, WIZO, Pioneer Women, and other educational and youth welfare organizations, expressed confidence in the administration of Youth Aliyah, and reiterated its support of director Moshe Kol against charges that children from Orthodox backgrounds were being placed in non-religious and anti-religious settlements and institutions. The charges were climaxed recently by a raid by zealots on the Ramat Hadassah Youth Aliyah reception center.

Abba Eban, Minister of Education, yesterday also strongly condemned the demonstrations fomented by the zealots and the ultra-Orthodox Agudath Israel against Youth Aliyah.

Moshe Sharett, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, will meet with Agudath Israel leaders tomorrow on their requests for representation on the Youth Aliyah reception committee which determines where new Youth Aliyah arrivals are sent for education. It was expected that Mr. Sharett and the Agudah leaders would work out some arrangement to resolve the dispute.

The Union of Sephardi Rabbis held an extraordinary meeting here last night, and demanded representation on the selection committee, in line with similar requests from Orthodox groups who have contended that the committee as now constituted cannot cope with the largely Orthodox character of the present youth newcomers by routines previously used.

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