Education Fund Campaign in U.S. Eases High School Crisis in Israel

The chief of Israel’s secondary education system said here today that the country’s immediate high school construction crisis has been substantially eased by the early success of the Israel Education Fund of the United Jewish Appeal.

Eliezer Shmueli, director of the Post-Elementary Schools Administration of Israel’s Ministry of Education, told the initial meeting of the IEF Advisory Board at the Waldorf Astoria this afternoon that 13 schools in immigrant development areas are in construction today as a direct result of the Fund’s first-year drive, Some of them will be ready to receive students this September. Plans for another 18 are being drawn on the basis of IEF campaign projections for the very near future, he reported.

An important by-product of this substantial school construction aid, he added, has been the acceleration of the Ministry’s high school tuition scholarship program, Within two years, he declared, half of Israel’s secondary school students will be receiving free education.

Joseph Meyerhoff of Baltimore, chairman of the IEF Advisory Board, hailed the Shmueli report and urged the assembled educators and Jewish communal leaders to help mount an intensified drive to put all planned schools into construction by next spring. He also called for a drive to establish scholarships for training 8,500 high school teachers within the next four or five years.

IEF President Charles J. Bensley, member of a four-man team of educators who drew up the Fund’s program on the basis of a survey in Israel last year, called the emphasis on comprehensive and vocational schools among the active IEF projects “an immediate and gratifying fulfillment” of the group’s major recommendation. The resulting rise in vocational training opportunities, he said, will materially aid the comparatively disadvantaged oriental element of Israel’s school population and help the dropout rate.

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