NEW YORK (Jan. 16)
A $2,500, 000 program to build a network of 50 cultural centers in the newer outlying Israel settlements and villages was announced tonight at the annual dinner-concert of the America’Israel Cultural Foundation by Samuel Rubin, president of the Foundation.
Speaking before 1,200 people gathered at the Waldorf Astoria to honor Herbert H. Lehman “for distinguished service in the cause of America, Israel and all humanity, ” Mr. Rubin also announced that the first cent to be built under this new program, the gift of a group of friends, will be named in honor of former Governor Lehman, and will be located in the village of Isfiya, a community populated by Druse and Christian Arabs.
“It is particularly appropriate, ” Mr Rubin said, “that this new cultural center in the Middle East be established in the name of Herbert H. Lehman who, as director general of UNRRA, helped save the lives of millions of men, women and children in the Middle East. ” Over $200, 000 was raised for the annual program of the Foundation in behalf of over 40 cultural institutions and projects in Israel. Robert S. Benjamin, chairman of the dinner-concert, was toastmaster. The principal guest address was delivered by Avraham Harman, Israel Ambassador to the United States.
Of the 50 cultural centers projected in the new America-Israel Cultural Foundation program, it is estimated that ten will be erected in areas largely populated by Arabs, and the other 40 in outlying settlements in the newer sections of Israel, particularly the Negev, largely populated by new immigrants. “In the past few years,” Mr. Rubin said, “the Foundation has built seven cultural centers in outlying sections of Israel. This was an experimental project, and on the basis of the success of these pilot centers, and utilizing the knowledge we gained in the building and administration of them, we evolved this present plan.”
Mr. Lehman, addressing the 1, 200 guests, warned that although “an uneasy quiet rests today upon the Middle East, “that there is no doubt “that this area of deep tensions, passions, and hostilities may again produce an eruption of vital danger to world peace and to the existence of Israel.”