NEW YORK (Dec. 11)
The four-day National Conference of the United Jewish Appeal, attended by 2,500 leaders of Jewish communities from all parts of the United States, concluded its sessions today with the adoption of a goal of $75,620,000 as the objective of the UJA nationwide campaign for 1967.
Max M. Fisher was reelected to a third term as UJA General Chairman. Edward Ginsberg, of Cleveland, was elected Associate General Chairman — a newly-created high leadership post. Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman was reelected to his 12th term as UJA executive vice-chairman. Mrs. Harry L. Jones, of Detroit, was elected chairman of the UJA’s National Women’s Division.
The 1967 campaign goal — $10,000,000 more than the UJA total in 1966 — is the minimum needed, according to the budgetary presentation made during the Conference by the functional agencies supported by the Appeal — to meet the essential aid requirements of 827,600 Jews in Israel and 30 other countries throughout the world. All the budgetary presentations cited the extraordinary costs developing out of the sharply increased needs of immigrant absorption programs in Israel, as well as a continued movement of Jewish immigrants to that and other countries, and relief and reconstruction programs in Western Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
In his acceptance speech, General Chairman Fisher told the delegates that he was “deeply honored to be given this responsibility.” “There is an Israel — after 2,000 years — because the people of Israel and this generation of American Jews acted together,” he said. “There are restored Jewish communities abroad because the UJA mobilized this generation of American Jews to meet that task of regeneration. And there are millions of Jews alive today because we took up the noble opportunity to save those lives.”
Rabbi Friedman stressed that the UJA is the instrument of the American Jewish community created to serve all Jews in need of help and the Jewish land in need of up building. “We are now entering,” he said, “one of the most difficult and dangerous periods since Israel achieved statehood. The issues of war and peace, bread and home, growth and life, learning and stability — are in the balance. All future generations shall judge us on how we use our wealth — our freedom — our education. Our vision must not be dim, our hearts must not be small, our hands must not be afraid. God and history await our response.”
VICE-PRESIDENT HUMPHREY REAFFIRMS U.S. COMMITMENTS TO ISRAEL
Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, addressing the 2,500 Jewish community leaders at the UJA dinner last night at the New York Hilton Hotel, emphasized that the United States policy with regard to the Middle East is “unmistakably clear.” “We will energetically oppose aggression there which would threaten the peace,” he said. “As part of that objective, the United States is committed to the integrity of Israel as a free and independent state. That is our position.”
Mr. Humphrey drew comparisons between Israel and the United States showing that the basic principles of both countries are the same. He agreed that Israel has been offering peace to the Arab countries all the time, and that all she wants now is to be “left alone,” as long as her peace offers are not accepted. He emphasized that Israel has the right to protect her borders against Arab terrorists, and highly praised Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban and Louis A. Pincus, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, who shared the platform with him.
ISRAEL REJECTS ‘PASSIVE SUBMISSION’ TO TERRORISM, EBAN SAYS
Declaring that Israel is being subjected to “piecemeal assault” by terroristic infiltrators, Mr. Eban told the audience: “We are prepared to examine any constructive and effective answer to this problem except one. The course that we cannot accept is that of passive submission to encroachment of our land, our homes and the safety of our lives. The advice that we sometimes receive from outside comes close to a suggestion that we re-
“The immediate alternatives in the Middle East are not war or peace,” Mr. Eban continued. “The two least likely things to happen in the near future are final peace or general war. We are destined to live for some years in the twilight zone between the two. What statesmanship should try to achieve is to bring the situation nearer to peace than to war.”
Stressing that the most urgent need is to stabilize tranquility on the Israel-Arab frontiers, Mr. Eban said: “In the past few years a new and ominous technique has been adopted by those who seek to deny Israel her right to peaceful coexistence. The balance of regular armed strength has recently improved to a point at which our neighbors recoil from the direct confrontation. In these conditions a new system of aggression has evolved. It takes the form of organized terrorist infiltration. This technique evades and neutralizes the regular balance of strength. It seeks to dislocate peaceful life through the action of small groups armed with primitive weapons.”
Pointing out that “Israel is the only state in the world which is the target of guerrilla warfare on her own national territory,” Mt. Eban stressed that there is still no concerted cooperation of the major powers in support of the independence and integrity of all Middle Eastern states. “Great power attitudes in the Middle East are marked more by competition than by cooperation,” he stated. “United Nations treatment of the problem is sometimes distorted by unreliance of attitudes, in temperance of formulation and limitation of perspectives. In these conditions, the Israel government must discharge its responsibility to the best of its own judgment and thereafter work patiently to seek international understanding of its aims.”
PINCUS OUTLINES ISRAEL’S ‘MOST PRESSING’ SOCIAL PROBLEMS
Mr. Pincus, in an impressive address, told the dinner guests that Israel is now facing “most pressing social problems” which stem from the fact that the massive immigration of the past decade has left a residue of 250,000 newcomers who are still unabsorbed culturally and economically. “Most of that residue is made up of immigrants who have been settled in 21 newly-created towns in the Galilee region, the Negev, and other areas where Jewish settlement is sorely needed. Nearly all lack the training, skills and education needed for productive employment in a modern industrialized country like Israel,” he said.
The immediate implementation, with the aid of increased funds from the UJA, or educational, vocational training and rehabilitation programs which would help them overcome these handicaps and thus speed their economic and social absorption is Israel’s most immediate need, Mr. Pincus declared. “If we do not succeed in this task, then we shall face the explosive possibility of two disparate levels of culture and life co-existing in Israel, a polarized society of permanently employed and unemployed, of a segment of our citizens benefiting economically through vocational and academic training on one hand and semi- –or uneducated disadvantaged citizens on the other,” Mr. Pincus warned.
He urged American Jews to help Israel’s citizens to undertake the “superhuman” effort that is required to bridge this cultural and economic gap between these segments of Israel’s society. “Faced as we in Israel are with the lion’s share of the financial burdens of immigration, absorption, development and defense, we feel that we have the moral right — nay, even the moral duty — to turn to you with the simple demand to assume, as is your duty, a greater share of our common good,” Mr. Pincus said.
RABBI FRIEDMAN, MEYERHOFF, STONE, BROIDO SPEAK OF MAJOR 1967 NEEDS
The four-day national conference opened with a session at which prominent UJA leaders explained the needs in Israel and in other overseas Jewish communities for 1967 and why American Jewry will be asked to raise $10,000,000 more than in 1966. Speakers included Dewey D. Stone, chairman of the United Israel Appeal, Inc.; Louis Broido, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee; and Joseph Meyerhoff, honorary chairman of the United Jewish Appeal.
Rabbi Friedman, in summarizing the picture of most acute needs facing the UJA supported agencies for the coming year, told the delegates that the overriding responsibility was to provide greater funds to help the citizens of Israel speed the integration of scores of thousands of unabsorbed immigrants into the social and economic fabric of the nation.
“It is clear to even the most casual observer that Israel at the end of 1966 is quite a different place than was the Israel of only a half year ago,” Rabbi Friedman said. “A new combination of problems has overtaken her — the problem of national security and the problem of an economic setback with its accompanying severe unemployment. It is no exaggeration to say that unless we come forward now with a renewed burst of energetic aid, many of the gains of the past eighteen years may be lost.”
ISRAEL’S ECONOMIC RECESSION AND ABSORPTION OF IMMIGRANTS STRESSED
In Israel’s economic recession and resultant employment stringency, Rabbi Friedman pointed out, the first to be laid off were the least skilled, and most often these were immigrants not in the country long enough to have learned a trade or craft. “The tragic fact is,” he said, “that the newest immigrant himself in the weakest economic segment of the population because of his very newness, was the first to suffer, and the least able to bear the suffering, because he had no backlog of savings or other resources to maintain himself.”
“The economic crisis has hit hardest in the score of development towns that have sprung up throughout Israel in the past decade, and where nearly 250,000 of these immigrants live,” Rabbi Friedman noted. “Most of the people in these towns came from lands of social and technological backwardness. Sufficient resources have never been available to provide all the social, educational and job training facilities required to completely integrate them into Israel’s life. Now, with the eruption of a combined security and economic crisis, the integration problem becomes even more difficult.”
“That is why,” Rabbi Friedman emphasized, “the main slogan for our work in 1967, and several more years thereafter as a matter of fact, is the word ‘absorption.’ This word refers to the process by which a new immigrant merges into the total population, feeling comfortable, at home, rooted, patriotic, part of the whole scheme, bearing his share of total responsibility, reading and writing the language as well as speaking it, sending his children to school, taking part in politics, and ultimately comprehending the unique meaning of this Jewish-Hebrew state with its ancient brilliant past and equally promising future.”
“If the immigrant absorption process is too long delayed,” Rabbi Friedman warned, “there could grow up a disaffected citizenry sitting like a lump on a log, eating away at the very vitals of democracy by raising the specter of discrimination, class hatred and ethnic animosity. The unabsorbed immigrant is, for Israel, a greater danger than the terroristic infiltrator.”
EMIGRATION OF 20,000 INTO ISRAEL IN 1967 IS FORESEEN
While the UJA must carry forward the task of absorbing immigrants already in Israel, Rabbi Friedman said, it must continue to finance the movement of additional thousands of Jews out of lands of despondency to the free soil of Israel. “We are far from finished with this rescue operation,” Rabbi Friedman declared. “In 1967 again there will be at least 20,000 coming into Israel alone, plus another 10,000 to other areas, or even more if some countries expand their rate of granting exit permits. This emigration will also be more costly,” he added. “Today, 20,000 persons cost much more to process and handle than 30,000 did in prior years.”
Emphasizing that there are Jews who migrate to countries other than Israel, and these people, too, are the concern of American Jewry, Rabbi Friedman said approximately 9,000 to 10,000 will have to be assisted in 1967 to emigrate to North and South America, Europe, Australia and elsewhere. “The United Hias Service performs this work with compassion and efficiency,” he declared.
Other speakers at the sessions included Jack D. Weiler, Edward Ginsberg, Melvin Dubinsky, Isadore Breslau, Albert Adelman, Philip Zinman, David Lowenthal — all national chairmen of the UJA. Seminars on Jewish needs overseas, including Israel, were addressed by Charles J. Bensley, president of the UJA Israel Education Fund; Charles H. Jordan, executive vice-chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee; Gottlieb Hammer, executive vice-chairman of the United Israel Appeal, Inc.; Gaynor I. Jacobson, executive director of the United Hias Service; Yehuda Dominitz, deputy director of the Immigration Department of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Also, Philip Soskis, executive director of the New York Association for New Americans; Louis D. Horwitz, resident representative in Israel of the United Israel Appeal, Inc.; Dr. Isadore Lubin, consultant for programs in Israel of the United Israel Appeal, Inc.; Samuel L. Haber, assistant executive vice-chairman of JDC; Max Braude, director-general of the World ORT Union; Ralph Goldman, of UJA Israel Education Fund.
An international symposium with leaders of Jewish communities from France, Spain, West Germany, Scandinavia and Brazil, reporting on Jewish life in their countries, was part of the UJA conference. It was held under the chairmanship of William Rosenwald, honorary chairman of the UJA. Participating in the symposium were Baron Edmond de Rothschild of Paris, Max Mazin of Madrid, Werner Nachman of Dusseldorf, Dr. Moyses Kauffmann of Rio de Janeiro, and Gunnar Josephson of Scandinavia.