So. African Zionists Settle Dispute on Financing Hebrew Education
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So. African Zionists Settle Dispute on Financing Hebrew Education

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An anticipated controversy over financing of Jewish education in South Africa was settled amicably today by a compromise resolution approved at the current conference of the South African Zionist Federation.

The conference had before it reports from two commissions named to investigate the fiscal crisis of South African Hebrew education–the Kuper Commission in Johannesburg and the Herbstein commission in Capetown. Both commissions agreed on the urgency of the community finding the needed funds but the Kuper commission recommended a 500, 000-pound loan from the Israel United Appeal while the other commission opposed the use of such funds for local needs.

A committee session explored both reports and reached agreement on proposal providing for the Zionist Federation to make a limited contribution only to the national budget of the Hebrew education system, making up the deficit from other fund sources. The compromise specified no Federation funds should be used for maintenance of the Jewish day schools, the most costly education item. Such costs, according to the compromise, must be met by the Jewish communities in which day schools were located.

The Kuper commission proposal for an Israel United Appeal loan, which would have included day schools as beneficiaries, was dropped and the Herbstein commission ended its opposition to even a limited IUA subsidy. Judge Joseph Herbstein and Judge Simon Kuper piloted the compromise through the conference, stressing points of agreement in their reports.


Louis Pincus, Jewish Agency treasurer, who came to South Africa for the conference, gave provisional approval to the compromise, subject to ratification by the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem and with the understanding that the agreement would be reviewed in two years and that the monies thus funded would be repayable to the IUA when that was possible.

Mr. Pincus, in an address to the conference, reviewed the financial problems of the Jewish Agency and stressed the urgent need for maximum funds to settle the expected increased immigration to Israel.

Chairman Edel Horowitz referred in his keynote address to the recent conversion of South Africa to a republic and said: “We Jews, in common with our fellow citizens of this wonderful country, are vitally concerned with its progress and welfare and will continue to work for it with all our hearts.” He told the delegates that the South African Zionist movement “values the friendship which exists between South Africa and Israel and the active sympathy displayed by successive South African Governments toward Zionist work.”

Reviewing the achievements since the previous conference, Mr. Horowitz stressed the increasing Aliyah from South Africa, noting that more than 3, 000 South African Jews are now settled in Israel, and the role which those immigrants were playing in Israel. He mentioned such former South Africans as Mr. Pincus; Arthur Lourie, Israel Ambassador to Britain; and Ambassador Michael Comay, head of the Israeli delegation to the United Nations.

In response to Mr. Pincus’ appeal, the delegates unanimously adopted a resolution greeting Israel’s achievements and pledging continued maximum assistance to Israel. The conference also voted unanimously to launch a special campaign which delegates started with substantial individual contributions at the conference. The delegates also adopted a resolution thanking the South African Government for the friendship and assistance accorded the work of the Zionist movement.

Mr. Horowitz was unanimously re-elected chairman. Israel Minister Simcha Pratt brought greetings of the Israel Government. Dr. Teddy Schneider, South African Jewish Board of Deputies chairman, stressed the fundamental Zionist character of South African Jewry and unity in assistance to Israel.

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