NEW YORK (Dec. 11)
The 24th Annual National Conference of the United Jewish Appeal concluded here tonight with the formal adoption of a $35,000,000 Special Fund to meet the pressing problems of the expected heavy immigration in 1962, along with a regular campaign goal of $60,000,000.
The total $95,000,000 which the UJA will seek in the coming year will make it possible for the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. to help cope with the problem of increased immigration to Israel and will enable the Joint Distribution Committee to care for Jews in need in 27 overseas countries.
Joseph Meyerhoff of Baltimore was re-elected UJA general chairman at the closing session, which was addressed by U.S. Secretary of Labor Arthur J. Goldberg, Israel’s Foreign Minister Golda Meir, and Dr. Giora Josephthal, Israel Minister of Development and Housing. Avraham Harman, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, addressed the morning session.
At the morning session of the Conference several million dollars in checks were presented as part of a UJA fall cash drive. Israel D. Fink, of Minneapolis, UJA National Cash Chairman, announced that today’s receipts brought cash collected in 1961 on this and previous campaigns to $63,390,000.
A resolution calling for the Special Fund was reported to the Conference’s afternoon session by Dewey D. Stone, national chairman representing the United Israel Appeal. “In all conscience,” he said, “American Jewry must do its share in meeting this latest in the long series of challenges to help save and build lives, even as it supports many other activities for the welfare of our fellow-Jews at home and abroad.”
ISRAEL MINISTER STRESSES NEED FOR U.J.A. AID TO HOUSE NEW IMMIGRANTS
Dr. Josephthal, addressing the 1,500 Jewish community leaders from all parts of the country, said that the people of Israel are now engaged in a dramatic, nerve-straining effort to build 18,000 new housing units for large numbers of Jews expected this year. He emphasized that Israel was in the midst of a mass immigration again. He described some of the problems that face the Israel Government, in providing modest accommodations for what he foresaw would be a steady flow of new comers.
The Israel Housing head stressed the indispensability of the UJA in helping the people of Israel carry out the task of effective immigrant aid in 1962, as did Israel Ambassador to the U.S. Avraham Harman, who spoke earlier. Dr. Josephthal indicated that Israel has so little influence in its flow of immigrants, it can only estimate this flow and build accordingly.
Israel’s people, he said, are fighting against the return of the “ma’abarot,” the immigrant shanty towns, which were established in the peak of the 1950 immigration to house thousands of newcomers coming into the Jewish State. At their height these canvas and wooden shack towns held 250,000 people and rapidly became slum towns. After considerable effort most of the “ma’abarot” were practically cleaned out last spring.
To carry out the 18,000-unit housing program in 1962, he noted, Israel’s people must have the aid of philanthropic money. “In giving to the Special Fund you have established here today,” he declared, “you will be investing not just in housing but even more in human beings; in parents, in their children and their future.” Some $15,000,000 of UJA funds would be used for immigrant housing alone next year, of the $95,000,000 sought.
MEYERHOFF EMPHASIZES ROLE OF U.J.A. IN REBUILDING JEWISH LIVES
Mr. Meyerhoff, in his acceptance speech for a second term, called it “a great honor to be entrusted with the leadership of the United Jewish Appeal, which has become the prime means for American Jewry to exercise that inborn and traditional need to help other Jews which is so characteristic of our people. Today, when the verdict of history is about to be handed down to Adolf Eichmann, whose life was dedicated to degrading and destroying Jews, it is an intensely meaningful privilege for me to accept leadership of an organization dedicated to saving and rebuilding Jewish lives.”
Reporting on the role played by women in UJA campaigns, Mrs. Israel D. Fink, of Minneapolis, national chairman of the Women’s Division, said that nearly $200,000,000 had been contributed by women to community campaigns throughout the country since 1946. “These are plus dollars,” she noted, “the result of the well-organized activities of 250 Women’s Divisions in major communities. I am confident that they will make the crucial 1962 campaign their greatest year.”
Others speaking at the morning session included Rabbi Irving Miller, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; UJA National Chairmen Albert A. Levin of Cleveland and Jack D. Weiler of New York and UJA National Allocations Chairman Isadore Breslau.
Two American communal leaders and Secretary of Labor Arthur Goldberg were honored tonight for outstanding public and philanthropic service. The leaders were Charles Mayer, chairman of Trustees of the UJA of Greater New York, and Leonard Ratner, of Cleveland, member of the UJA National Campaign Cabinet. They were presented with silver lamps.