NEW YORK (Dec. 12)
The four-day 28th annual national conference of the United Jewish Appeal concluded here today with the adoption of a fund-raising goal of $73,420,000 in 1966 and the unanimous reelection of Max M. Fisher to a second term as UJA general chairman. More than 2,500 community leaders from all parts of the country acclaimed Mr. Fisher’s leadership of the 1965 nationwide campaign.
In his acceptance address, Mr. Fisher said that, since the founding of the Appeal in 1939, American Jews have raised $1,618,000,000 for the programs of the UJA. “Our most significant accomplishment,” he noted, “was the resettling of 1,736,000 Jews from lands of despair to lands of freedom, with 1,373,000 of that total given haven in Israel.” He said the principal tasks confronting the UJA for 1966 were:
1. A stepped-up program to help Israel absorb 200,000 disadvantaged immigrants from North African and Asian countries settled in 21 new development towns established throughout Israel;
2. Large-scale aid to transport and settle an anticipated 55,000 Jewish immigrants from distressed areas of Europe, North Africa and Asia, in Israel and other lands of the free world;
3. Increased aid for some 400,000 Jews in dire need in various Moslem countries and in Europe.
Terming the UJA’s 1966 goal of $73,420,000 as “seemingly enormous but, in light of the needs, still inadequate,” Mr. Fisher told the delegates: “Let us use the goal as a stimulus toward a minimal target. For the global needs we have discussed here must remind us that, even if we reach the goal, there will still be a tremendous distance to cover in performing all the life-saving and life-renewing tasks that remain unfulfilled.”
GOAL BASED ON REALISTIC FUND-RAISING POSSIBILITIES, FRIEDMAN SAYS
Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, who was reelected to his eleventh year as UJA executive vice-chairman, declared that the 1966 goal was based on a realistic appraisal of fund-raising possibilities. The $73,420,000 sought for 1966, he pointed out, is approximately 20 percent higher than the actual amount raised in 1965, but falls far short of next year’s basic budgetary needs of UJA-supported agencies, which total $116,685,000.
After noting that UJA-supported agencies overseas will lose $17,500,000 next year because of the end of annual allocations from German reparation funds, Rabbi Friedman reported that “it appears that, in 1965, UJA will receive $62,000,000 from the American Jewish community.” “That sum,” he said, “would represent an increase of about $2,000,000 over the sums raised each year by the UJA for the last four years.” He then told the conference:
“In 1966, the United Jewish Appeal will come to the communities with a new and challenging proposal. We will point out that the authentic needs overseas are always many millions more than American Jews attain in their fund-raising efforts. In 1966, these will total more than $116,000,000 for all of the UJA’s agencies. But we will say — since we cannot raise that full amount — let us try to raise 20 percent or 25 percent more than the $62,000,000 we raised in 1965. Let us work together and try to raise $73,420,000.”
UJA AGENCIES WILL NEED $116,685,000 FOR THEIR 1966 PROGRAMS
Financial requirements for 1966 totaling $116,685,000 to aid 816,000 needy Jews in 30 countries throughout the world, including Israel, were presented to the conference by the top executives of the four UJA-supported agencies. The Jewish Agency for Israel presented a 1966 budget which seeks $82,585,000 to help 388,000 persons; the 1966 budget of the Joint Distribution Committee seeks $28,780,000 to aid 413,180 persons. The remaining financial requirements of $5,320,000 include the needs of the New York Association for New Americans, and the United Hias Service, to aid 15,500 Jewish refugees emigrating to the U. S. and other countries outside of Israel, and national administrative expenditures.
THREE WORLD WAR II MILITARY CHIEFS HONORED FOR LIBERATING JEWS
One of the highlights of the conference was the banquet session last night commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe and the liberation of the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps. Mr. Fisher, who presided at the dinner session at the New York Hilton Hotel attended by more than 2,500 delegates and guests, presented gold medallions to three of the World War II military chiefs who led the Allied armies to victory: Former President Dwight David Eisenhower, General of the Army of the United States and Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force; Great Britain’s Field Marshal, the Earl Alexander of Tunis, and General Pierre Joseph Koenig, who was commander-in-Chief of the Free French Forces.
Lord Alexander and Gen. Koenig came from London and Paris, respectively, to accept their medals. General Eisenhower, who is convalescing, was represented by his wartime associate, General Lucius D. Clay, former Commander-in-Chief of the U. S. Armed Forces in Europe, and Chief of the Military Government in the American Zone of Occupied Germany. Yesterday Lord Alexander and General Koenig, accompanied by Mr. Fisher, visited General Eisenhower at the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. where he is convalescing.
In making the presentations to the three generals, Mr. Fisher said: “It is fitting then, that we pay homage to the architects of that great victory — the great generals in the Allied cause who delivered the people of the world from Hitler’s bondage. Their victory is the pillar upon which all our subsequent achievements rest — the saving of three million Jewish lives, the creation of the State of Israel, and the restoration of Jewish community life in Europe. Tonight, it is our privilege to acknowledge the great moral and spiritual debt that we owe them and, through them, their Governments.”
In moving speeches, each of the three generals touched upon Hitler’s methodical and merciless destruction of the Jews and stressed the role of Israel in becoming the new home for most of the Jews who survived the Nazi camps. Ambassador Avraham Harman of Israel lauded the friendship to Israel of the three generals and of their governments.
Rabbi Friedman, in paying tribute to the three generals, told the audience that “as Jews, we seek the safety and security of the household of Israel — primarily in the land of Israel but also throughout the planet. Our labor and effort, our fervor and funds are directed to the saving of Jewish life, the education of Jewish children, the building of the Jewish state. From these goals we will not be diverted — not by fatigue nor impatience nor any premature sense of success. Much work still lies ahead before we will finally be able to say that every Jew in the world is living safely and that the land of Israel is secure from every economic, political or military danger.
PINCUS APPEALS TO U. S. JEWS TO HELP SOLVE ISRAEL’S HUMAN PROBLEMS
Louis A. Pincus of Jerusalem, Acting Chairman and the treasurer of the Jewish Agency for Israel, told the delegates that “the most critical human problem we face in the coming year is to make substantial progress on true absorption — absorption in depth — for scores of thousands of Israel’s newcomers who still are socially and economically disadvantaged.” He spoke at a luncheon session presided over by Dewey D. Stone, honorary chairman of UJA and chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc.
“Despite all their economic and national security problems,” Mr. Pincus said, “Israel’s people have given to more than a million and a quarter uprooted Jews — 250,000 in the last five years alone — and have shouldered most of the financial burden of absorbing the newcomers. The very enormity of the continuous immigration has left many inadequacies in the absorption process.
“These inadequacies have been growing year by year,” Mr. Pincus stressed, “and with an expected immigration over the next four years of from 200,000 to 250,000, the absorption problem will be further aggravated. If we do not make strong headway against this problem soon, it may build up to a dimension that may not be amenable to solution at a later date.”
The absorption problems are most acute in 21 new development towns, Mr. Pincus said, where many of the newcomers have been settled during the past decade. A large proportion of these settlers, he pointed out, came from Moslem lands where illiteracy was common and industrial and economic opportunities were meager.
President Johnson, in a message of greeting to the conference, lauded the “dedication of the United Jewish Appeal to the welfare of mankind and to the cause of freedom and dignity.”