JERUSALEM (Oct. 30)
Dr. Nahum Goldmann said today that Jews “can not abandon” their deep interest in the fate of Soviet Jewry “and must continue to bring forth facts and voice their concern.” However, he warned, “we must not allow the impression to be created that we are taking part in the cold war between East and West in so doing.”
Dr. Goldmann spoke at a press conference during which he also said that the lack of a single representative body in American Jewry had produced “some chaos” also in dealing with the problem of Soviet Jews. He visualized that there would be some improvement in that respect since the “Presidents’ Club”–composed of presidents of 20 major American Jewish organizations–has decided to bring the problem within its purview as well as issues pertaining to the problems of world Jewry.
He expressed the hope that a special committee to be established in the United States to deal with the problem of Soviet Jewry would include representatives of the American Jewish Committee and the three major rabbinical organizations.
Dr. Goldmann, who came here to participate in the Jewish Agency executive plenary session, will leave November 6 for Bonn to meet with Dr. Ludwig Erhard, West Germany’s new Chancellor, and other officials. He will discuss outstanding issues of property restitution and reparations to victims of Nazis who left areas of former Nazi occupation and submitted claims after a 1953 deadline in West German legislation.
He noted that there were two major items on the agenda of the Executive plenary– the budget and the situation of the Zionist movement. In respect to the budget, he said negotiations would continue with the Israel Premier and Treasurer over the Israel Government’s participation in immigrant settlement and related problems because of the difficult financial problems created for the Jewish Agency by the continuing large immigration.
The world Zionist leader said a radical change of approach was needed on the American Zionist scene. He said there was a need for an “offensive” to activate the existing “great potential” in the United States. He added that a strong Zionist movement was vital to Israel to ensure a close link between the young generation of American Jew and other countries with the State of Israel.
He said that in contrast with the conditions when David Ben-Gurion was Prime Minister, there was now a “new tone” under Premier Levi Eshkol in relation to the Zionist movement. However, he added, Israel must make it clear that it wants the Zionist movement to be the first and foremost interest for securing Jewry’s bond with the state.