NEW YORK (Sep. 28)
A program recommended by four American educators to counter serious secondary education shortages in Israel was translated into a full-scale action campaign there this weekend by 300 ranking representatives of the American Jewish community.
Acting at the closing session of the extraordinary conference on education in Israel, convened by the United Jewish Appeal at the Biltmore Hotel, the leaders endorsed the Israel Education Fund, a new UJA unit which will conduct a five-year capital fund campaign to meet the reported needs.
The new drive, separate and distinct from the ongoing annual UJA campaign, will seek to build 72 major high schools, train 8,500 teachers, and award 21, 000 annual student scholarships. Other education units included in the program are youth centers, libraries, pre-kindergarten schools and fully equipped laboratories. Total program cost will be $127,600,000.
Francis Keppel, U.S. Commissioner of Education, commended the UJA which he characterized as “one of the most impressive social and philanthropic movements of our time, ” for the action. Addressing a luncheon meeting, he stated that the action would “help to insure not merely the continued existence of Israel, but also its cultural flowering and ultimate human promise in the world.”
Joseph Meyerhoff, of Baltimore, was named chairman of the board of the Israel Education Fund. Mr. Meyerhoff is currently completing his fourth term as UJA general chairman. The new education drive was conceived by the UJA’s executive vice-chairman, Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, who outlined its structure and operation to the conference. Minimum contributions, accepted only over and above gifts to the annual UJA campaign, will be $100,000, he said. Implementation of the program in Israel will be carried out by the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc.
Edward M.M. Warburg, UJA national chairman, and member of the New York State Board of Regents, hailed the new fund as an invigorating and inevitable outgrowth of the UJA’s basic immigration and absorption efforts in Israel. Including its program s in Israel, the UJA provides basic aid for more than three quarters of a million people in 32 countries throughout the world.