MIAMI BEACH (Feb. 17)
Initial gifts amounting to $17, 625, 000 came forward here tonight to launch the 25th annual nationwide drive of the United Jewish Appeal. The total of gifts was made up of contributions announced in person by individual donors and by contributions that were made at meetings in other parts of the country in preparation for tonight’s campaign opening.
The UJA tonight also commemorated the 25th anniversary of its founding as American Jewry’s central philanthropy for the rescue and resettlement of homeless and distressed Jews the world over. Senator Kenneth Keating of New York and Israel Ambassador to the United States Avraham Harman joined UJA general chairman Joseph Meyerhoff in urging continued support of the Appeal’s worldwide humanitarian activities and objectives.
The drive launched here tonight will seek $96, 000, 000 through the end of 1963 for the financing of relief, welfare, migration, resettlement and medical aid programs on behalf of 575, 000 refugees and distressed Jews in 28 countries. The gift presentations and the exercises that commemorated the Appeal’s 25th anniversary were the highlights of a banquet that closed a three-day national inaugural conference attended by 1, 500 communal leaders from all parts of the United States.
Senator Keating Ambassador Harman and scores of men and women who have served over the years as the chairmen of their UJA community campaigns received 25th anniversary medals especially wrought by the State of Israel in honor of the Appeal’s quarter of a century of service and activities.
Contributions to help raise the UJA’s $96, 000, 000 goal will be sought on a two-part basis, Donors will be asked to make a normal contribution to help raise $60, 000, 000 in regular funds and then will be asked for an extra special gift to ensure the raising of a $36, 000, 000 Special Fund. The Special Fund will supplement regular campaign funds in coping with absorption emergencies in Israel created by a record-sized inflow of Jewish immigrants, now in its third year and to ease the plight of more than 160, 000 Jewish refugees in France, most of them from Algeria and other North African lands.
SEN. KEATING OPPOSES AID TO LANDS DISCRIMINATING AGAINST U. S. JEWS
Senator Keating, in his address, urged that the United States in dispersing foreign aid, favor “friendly nations that understand and back our objectives for a free world, ” He expressed his strongest opposition to helping nations “which seem to be using U. S. aid so that they can divert their own resources to the purchase of Soviet weapons to feud with their neighbors.”
Senator Keating also viced objection to U. S. aid for countries which discriminate against American citizens on the grounds of race or religion and which have carried on boycotts and blockades against their neighbors “who are also recipients of our aid.”
Ambassador Harman placed peace between Israel and her neighbors as one of the chief objectives of his country. “The attainment of peace with our neighbors is the central problem which will challenge all our resources and all our initiative in the next quarter of a century, and I am deeply convinced that we shall move forward to that purpose, ” he said.
“Equally important to Israel is the acceptance–and welcoming–of all Jewish immigrants and refugees who wish or need to come to Israel, their social, economic and cultural integration and the economic development of the country, ” Mr. Harman stressed. “The past 25 years of UJA existence, particularly since the establishment of Israel, have been marked by the greatest migration in Jewish history.”
U.S. JEWS AND ISRAEL HAVE HELPED EMIGRATION OF 2, 000, 000 JEWS
“I don’t think that it would be out of line to assume that since the United Jewish Appeal emerged into existence 25 years ago, Jews of the United States and the people of Israel have handled jointly a Jewish migration not far short of 2, 000, 000 people, ” Ambassador Harman said.
“It is because we have handled that volume of Jewish migration in so short a period of time, that the Jewish people did not succumb because of the liquidation of age-old centers of Jewish life and civilization in Central and Eastern Europe and North Africa, but was able to emerge from that catastrophe strengthened.”
“We know that during the next quarter of a century the population of Israel is going to have to continue to grow through immigration. There is a great unsatisfied yearning for migration on the part of many Jews in a number of countries and that that yearning is so strong, is a reflection of such a deep-seated need that it will persist until it receives satisfaction–and it will achieve satisfaction,” Ambassador Harman stated.
Mr. Meyerhoff, speaking on the theme of the UJA’s 25th anniversary, reported that the UJA has raised a total of $1, 435, 000, 000 through its 24 successive, annual drives in the United States. “Since its founding in 1939 in response to the tragedy and disaster facing the Jews of Europe as a result of the Hitler terror, ” Mr. Meyerhoff declared, “the UJA has succeeded in bringing aid to 3, 000, 000 Jews. These UJA funds also made it possible to resettle 1, 400, 000 Jewish refugees and immigrants in countries throughout the free world, 1, 100, 000 of them in Israel, ” Mr. Meyerhoff added.
“The UJA’s proud record belongs to every American Jew who participated in its drive and helped make possible its notable achievements during the past quarter of a century, ” Mr. Meyerhoff said, “The year 1963 represents a time in which to look back at the distance we have come, to renew our strength, and to go forward to meet the challenges ahead, ” Mr, Meyerhoff said.
U. J.A. YOUNG LEADERSHIP DIVISION INDUCTED AT CONFERENCE
The United Jewish Appeal added a new wing to its nationwide campaign structure with the formal induction today of a National Young Leadership Division made up of business and professional men and women in the 25 to 40 year age group. Induction of the new group came as the high point of the UJA conference.
Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, executive vice-chairman of the UJA, who worked for two years to bring the Young Leaders Group into being, announced its formation at a reception attended by ranking leaders of both the UJA and the scores of Jewish communities represented at the conference. Alan Sagner of Newark, N. J., a realtor and builder, was named as the new division’s first national chairman, and will head a special group to be known as the UJA Young Leadership Cabinet.
Rabbi Friedman, in giving the reasons for the new group’s formation, explained that “after a quarter of a century of work and growth, it has become apparent that the UJA will soon need to replenish its leadership ranks. None are better qualified to assume the arduous tasks borne so effectively by the older generation of American Jews than its sons and daughters, ” he said.