NEW YORK (Nov. 24)
The annual campaign in the United States for the Histadrut, Israel’s labor federation, raised $3,186,852 during the 1965-66 fiscal year, an increase of $178,000 over the previous year, delegates to the opening session of the 43rd annual convention of the National Committee for Labor Israel were told here today.
The report was made to the 2,000 delegates by Dr. Sol Stein, national director of the committee. He also reported that $891,000 was raised for the social welfare program of Histadrut’s Working Women’s Council by the Pioneer Women’s organization. This made the total western hemisphere contribution $4,078,000 for the period, an increase of four percent over the previous period.
President Johnson, in a message to the convention, commended “the productive exchange of ideas between Histadrut and the American trade union movement.” The President also said that the aims of Histadrut in education, culture, vocational training and health services “coincide with those of our nation.”
Premier Levi Eshkol, in a message of greeting, said that the annual campaign was particularly significant this year because of the need to absorb into “productive work thousands of youth and unemployed workers” who need “appropriate vocational training” to become wage-earners.
Dr. Stein also told the convention that the National Committee had developed two branches. One is the American Histadrut Cultural Exchange Institute to serve “as a bridge between the intellectual communities of the United States and Israel” and the other is the Histadrut Foundation for Educational Travel, he said, adding that last year, nearly 2,000 American tourists were sent to Israel through the Histadrut Foundation.
Dr. Stein emphasized that Israel’s current economic difficulties were “far from catastrophic” and noted that the Government and the Histadrut were seeking to implement a new economic policy that will “ultimately place the country on a healthier basis.” He said that in the interim many thousands of families were feeling the effects of joblessness but that “the mutual aid institutions connected with Histadrut are on hand to alleviate some of the hardships, providing, first of all, continuing medical care and other welfare services.”
He said that the Histadrut vocational training program must be considerably expanded to prepare Israelis for jobs when the new economic policy begins to generate new employment.