LONG BEACH, N.Y. (Dec. 4)
The 57th annual convention of the Religious Zionists of America concluded here today with the adoption of resolutions calling upon the Soviet Government “to grant opportunities for free and unqualified religious freedom to its 3,000,000 Jewish inhabitants” and appealing to the West German Government “to adopt severe measures to stamp out all vestiges of Nazism wherever found.” Rabbi Herschel Schacter, of New York, was elected as the national president of the organization for the coming year.
Addressing the convention last night, Dr. Shlomo Ben Meir, Israel’s Deputy Minister of the Interior, said that Israeli Arabs enjoy a higher standard of living than their brothers in neighboring Arab countries. He also pointed out that “Christian and Arab citizens of Israel have complete religious freedom and cultural autonomy in their varied spiritual practices.”
In comparing the educational standards enjoyed by Arabs in Israel with those of the non-Israeli Arabs, Dr. Ben Meir cited the statistics which indicate that almost 70 percent of Israeli Arabs receive public school education versus less than 40 percent for Arabs in neighboring countries. “The Government of Israel is erecting a network of schools to meet the needs of Arab and Christian children,” he reported. The Government is also subsidizing construction of Arab and Christian religious institutions, he said.
Rabbi Mordecai Kirshblum, past president of the organization, appealed to the Soviet Government to permit a representative body of American Jewish leaders “to conduct a free, unfettered, and uninhibited fact-finding study” of the status, welfare and general condition of the Jews of Russia.