High U.S. Official Addresses B’nai Zion Parley on Trade with Israel

Undersecretary of Commerce Franklin D. Roosevelt said here today that the “promotion of trade between Israel and the United States will continue to strengthen our bonds of understanding, friendship and the common purposes of the two nations.”

Addressing the 55th annual convention of the B’nai Zion fraternal order–which elected Edward Sharf of New York as president–Mr. Roosevelt announced that he will go to Israel later this month to represent the U.S. Government at the opening of the International Trade Fair in Tel Aviv and that he will dedicate the U.S. pavilion there. He hailed the fact that more than 75 American companies will display at the U.S. pavilion and cited this as an indication of the American interest in the promotion of Israeli trade relations.

The delegates adopted a resolution calling on the U.S. Government to use its good offices to bring about an end to the activities of German experts working on the development of atomic weapons for Egypt. In another resolution, the delegates voted unanimous opposition to the proposed Becker amendment to the Constitution or any similar proposal which would allow Bible reading and prayer in public schools. The resolution charged that such an amendment would violate the principle of separation of church and state “and might prove to be an opening wedge to tampering with the Bill of Rights.”

Herman Z. Quitman, national secretary of B’nai Zion, reported that the organization gained nearly 3,000 new members during the past year and that increased funds were raised by affiliated chapters for the United Jewish Appeal, Israel Bonds, the Jewish National Fund and the B’nai Zion Foundation.

Dr. Harris J. Levine, who heads the Foundation Committee, reported to the delegates on the completion in Israel of the first unit of the John F. Kennedy Evaluation and Diagnostic Center for Retarded Children. He also reported on the construction of two new Maccabbi Youth Centers at Ashdod and Kfar B’nai Zion and the dedication of a new polyclinic at Ramat Gan. He also told of plans for construction to begin this summer on a large diagnostic center in Tel Aviv that will memorialize the late Dr, Levi Efron of Kupat Cholim, the Histadrut Sick Fund. B’nai Zion, he said, now has a total of 41 health, welfare and recreation projects in Israel.

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