NEW YORK (Apr. 16)
The Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc., today announced the approval by its Board of Directors of allocations totaling $40,000,000 for the transportation, absorption and resettlement of immigrants in Israel. The announcement was made by Joseph Meyerhoff, national chairman of the United Jewish Appeal and vice-chairman of the JAFI, Inc.
Mr. Meyerhoff pointed out that of the total of $40, 000,000, some $7, 000, 000 represent supplementary allocations for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1961, while the balance constitutes initial allocations for the fiscal year starting April 1, 1962. Major categories of allocations include over $13,000,000 for transportation and services en route: close to $10, 000, 000 for initial absorption aid; close to $8, 000,000 for immigrant housing; and $7, 500,000 for the consolidation of agricultural villages.
Mr. Meyerhoff stated that all allocations are based on a careful line-by-line review of current needs as submitted by the Agency’s consultant, Dr. Isador Lubin. He added that, as in the past, the 1962-63 allocations would be subject to review throughout the year. The total financial requirements of the JAFI, Inc., program in Israel for the coming fiscal year are estimated at $68, 200, 000.
Aryeh L. Pincus, treasurer of the Jewish Agency, Jerusalem, and a member of the Board of Directors of the JAFI, Inc., submitted to the Board an analysis of the most urgent problems of immigrant absorption in Israel. Terming the current increase in immigration to Israel a challenge which may become a blessing or a catastrophe, depending on our ability to finance essential aid programs,” Mr. Pincus indicated some of the “critical areas” in the agency’s activities.
DEVALUATION OF ISRAEL’S CURRENCY INCREASES TRANSPORTATION COSTS
Transportation costs, most of which must be paid for in hard currency, will take a much larger share of the Jewish Agency’s budget due to the recent devaluation of the Israel pound, Mr. Pincus pointed out. Construction of immigrant housing barely keeps pace with increased immigration, at times causing new arrivals to be moved into unfinished units, he said. Lack of a minimum housing reserve also creates absorption problems since new arrivals must be sent to wherever empty units are available regardless of prospects for suitable employment in that particular area, he reported.
“Facilities for the absorption and training of immigrant youth, especially in the new development are as, are inadequate, leaving many young newcomers without proper guidance and with an intense sense of frustration,” the Jewish. Agency treasurer continued. “New immigrant farm villages whose economic consolidation had to be delayed far beyond original plans find it increasingly difficult to hold their own in the rapidly changing pattern of Israel’s agricultural economy. Newcomers who because of age, health or emotional problems require special aid are liable to become social problem cases because funds for their rehabilitation are insufficient.”
Mr. Pincus paid tribute to American Jewry whose generous contributions to the UJA have made possible an unprecedented immigration and rehabilitation program in Israel. “For 14 years, the dedication of the leadership of the UJA has matched the dedication of our own people ‘on the firing line, the men and women who stand ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to meet the immigrant trains, boats and planes,” Mr. Pincus stated. “Yet, as long as this immigration continues we, in Israel, must ask of our American friends no more and no less than we are daily asking of ourselves and of our own people: to continue with all possible effort until the great historic task of ingathering has been completed.”