NEW YORK (Sep. 22)
More than 200 Jewish leaders from 37 communities in 21 states, constituting the United Jewish Appeal’s Twelfth Annual Study Mission, will convene in Israel on October 9, for a 13-day survey of the extensive immigrant absorption programs of the Jewish Agency for Israel, it was announced today by Max M. Fisher, UJA General Chairman, who is leading the Mission.
Prior to that date, studies of the large-scale relief, welfare and reconstruction programs conducted by the Joint Distribution Committee in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, will be completed by various groups of Mission members. Among the countries to be visited by these sub-Missions are Germany, Poland, Iran and Morocco. On October 5, all Mission members will gather in Geneva, Switzerland, to be briefed by JDC officials. From Geneva, they will fly to Israel. Each member pays his own way throughout the fact-finding survey tour.
The UJA Mission’s presence in Israel will enable it to focus special attention on the massive efforts being made both by the Jewish Agency and the people of Israel to receive and integrate the vast numbers of unabsorbed newcomers among the 250, 000 who have entered the country over the past five years. The unmet needs of these immigrants far exceed the funds which the UJA and Israel’s taxpayers are able to provide for their resettlement and absorption.
The absorption in Israel, as well as the relief and rehabilitation programs in other countries, has been adversely affected by the ending of West German reparation payments, causing an annual loss of $10, 500, 000 to the Jewish Agency and one of $7, 000, 000 to the JDC. The United HIAS Service which also receives funds from UJA campaigns for the transportation of Jewish refugees going to countries other than Israel, has also lost $500, 000 in annual income from the same source.
During their stay in Israel, Mission members will meet with officials of the Jewish Agency and of the Israel Government who are directly concerned with absorption. They will journey to every part of the country to see for themselves how the various facets of this important program are being carried out. Of particular interest will be their visits to a number of the new development towns which were built to house nearly 300, 000 immigrants. They will also visit border settlements, farm villages and kibbutzim as well as Israel’s major cities.
Top UJA officials who will participate with Mr. Fisher on the Mission include: Dewey D. Stone, honorary chairman; Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, executive vice chairman; Joseph M. Mazer, an honorary Special Fund chairman, and Jack D. Weiler, a national chairman. Participants also include ranking members of the UJA national executive committee and Campaign Cabinet. UJA’s top policy-setting bodies; presidents of central Jewish community organizations; current and former community campaign chairmen, and many of the country’s leading contributors to their community campaigns, of which the UJA is a major beneficiary.