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Response of South African Jews to Israel’s New Needs Termed ‘fantastic’

The response by South African Jewry to Israel’s sharply increased needs during the recent crisis and hostilities was called “fantastic” here today by E.J. Horwitz, chairman of the South African Zionist Federation, in a report on the community’s contributions to the Israel Emergency Campaign and on the widespread offers of manpower by individuals throughout the country.

Typical among the South African Jewish groups who immediately responded to the call for funds were Johannesburg’s United Hebrew Congregation, the main Orthodox body, which pledged 100,000 Rand ($140,000), the United Progressive Jewish Congregation (Reform) which pledged 25,000 Rand ($35,000). A single meeting of parents of pupils at Johannesburg’s Jewish day schools raised 230,000 Rand ($322,000) with other similar meetings scheduled to follow.

In Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, campaign meetings have drawn responses 10 times greater than any drives ever recorded there. Special women’s meetings here reported that several of those attending gave their fur coats and diamond rings for the campaign.

Much of the support for Israel has come from non-Jewish quarters with many non-Jews contributing funds to Israel through their Jewish friends. Three major church groups — Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian — have issued a joint statement condemning Arab aggression and calling for “a just and permanent settlement of the dispute” between Israel and the Arab states.

In a joint statement issued here, the South African Zionist Federation and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies expressed their gratitude to the South African Government for the special permission granted for the transfer of funds to Israel.

Large numbers of volunteers including some non-Jews from all parts of the country have registered for non-combatant service in Israel with a considerable number reportedly already there. The volunteers will replace Israelis who had to leave civilian jobs to serve in the armed forces. Some of the volunteers are nurses and doctors who will carry out essential medical services in Israel.

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