NEW YORK (Dec. 10)
A massive, “no limit” fund-raising drive will be conducted by the United Jewish Appeal in 1968 to meet the “crucial human needs in Israel and 30 other countries throughout the world,” it was announced here today.
Edward Ginsberg, of Cleveland, announced the plans for the “no limit” campaign at the closing session of the UJA’s national conference today. Mr. Ginsberg had just been elected general chairman of the UJA, succeeding Max M. Fisher, of Detroit, who had held that post since 1965. Other principal officers chosen by the parley, with 3,000 Jewish leaders from all over the United States and Canada in attendance, were Mrs. Jennie Jones, Detroit, who was reelected national chairman of the UJA’s women’s division; and Herbert J. Garon, of New Orleans, elected chairman of the Young Leadership Cabinet.
The conference, which opened Friday, heard an address by Maj. Gen. Itzhak Rabin, chief of staff of Israel’s defense forces, who asserted that, while Israel was “pursuing peace with all its might” the war with the Arabs is not over, but Israel is confident it can meet a new test of arms “If only our most faithful ally, the Jewish people, will be a full partner and will accept the significance of this responsibility.”
Other major addresses were delivered by Baron Elie de Rothschild, of Paris; Sir Barnett Janner, of London; Dr. Moses Rosen, of Bucharest, chief rabbi of Rumania; Gregorio Shapiro, of Mexico City; Aryeh L. Pincus, of Jerusalem, chairman of the Jewish Agency; Mr. Fisher; Mrs. Jones; Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, executive vice-chairman of the UJA; and Louis Broido, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee.
Rabbi Friedman announced that the Israel Emergency Fund, launched by the UJA last June to underwrite the costs of Israel’s humanitarian programs, which Israelis could not meet because of the enormous costs of the Six-Day War, will be continued during 1968.
GINSBERG OUTLINES REASONS, MAJOR OBJECTIVES OF CAMPAIGN WITHOUT FIXED GOAL
The UJA campaign in 1968, Mr. Ginsberg said at the closing session today, will be the first in the UJA’s 30-year history without a fixed goal “for the reason that the needs are too great to be circumscribed by any goal.” Since its inception, the UJA has raised $2 billion for Jewish rescue, relief and reconstruction programs in Israel and 30 other countries around the world. The funds to be raised in 1968, he said, will be devoted to these two high-priority areas of Jewish needs:
1) The crucial human needs that must be met on behalf of more than 400,000 Jewish immigrants now living in Israel, as well as for the 25,000 other newcomers whose arrival is anticipated in 1968; 2) To carry on existing programs outside of Israel, on behalf of more than 400,000 Jews, principally in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, Mr. Ginsberg told the conference:
“It is clear to everyone that, for Israel, the emergency not only continues but grows. The tragic fact is that it is taking Israel much longer to win a peace than to win a war and, therefore, the situation remains critical and massively expensive for Israel. The post-war security burdens which Israel’s people carry now, and will continue to carry, adds up to hundreds of millions of dollars. The Israelis will bear these costs themselves. But they ask us and our fellow Jews throughout the world to continue to meet the human needs of Israel’s people and arriving immigrants — to support those who cannot work, to heal the sick, provide for the aged, to feed and shelter and educate those who cannot do this for themselves. In this area the costs also total hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Mr. Ginsberg is a senior partner in a prominent Cleveland law firm. In his home community he has served as general chairman of the Jewish Federation’s 1960 and 1961 campaigns; and is a Federation trustee, and chairman of its budget committee. On the national level he is a trustee of the United Israel Appeal, and a member of the board of directors of the J.D.C., the two major constituent agencies of the UJA. Other beneficiaries of the UJA are the New York Association for New Americans, which assists Jewish refugees to the United States; and United Hias Service, which provides for the resettlement of Jewish refugees to countries other than Israel.
GEN. RABIN POINTS TO PRESENT DANGERS: ‘MISTAKE’ TO SURRENDER AREAS WITHOUT SECURE PEACE
Gen. Rabin told the conference, at its annual dinner last night, that Israel new faces “the greatest test to which the Jewish people have been put since the destruction of the second Jewish commonwealth by the Romans in the year 70 of the Christian Era.” “The great Jewish endeavor of the past century, to restore and establish the Third Commonwealth,” he said, “still needs the aggregate effort of the entire Jewish people
Noting Israel’s confidence that its foremost world ally – the Jewish people – will not let Israel down, the 44-year-old, Jerusalem-born military leader, who commanded all of Israel’s forces during the Six-Day War last June, noted that “peace is not here.” “Willing and ready as we are for peace,” he stated, “we cannot close our eyes to reality. The Arab states have still not reconciled themselves with the fact of Israel’s existence.” He said this was proven by the decisions taken at the recent Arab Summit conference, at Khartoum, Sudan, he pointed out, adding: “It is clear and evident that their main content is negative — no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no sitting down to negotiations with Israel. Regimes and leaders who, for many years have been fostering hatred for Israel, who have invested the major portion of their people’s resources into building up armies to wage war on Israel — these same regimes and leaders continue to maintain themselves by preaching and calling again for revenge and build up and the desire for vengeance against Israel.”
“The greatness and the power of the State of Israel and its army is not based on hatred, not even towards those who seek its destruction,” Gen. Rabin said. “You will not find in the education of the Israelis — soldiers and civilians alike — any element of hatred. You will not find a single speech nor a single army bulletin with the slightest intention of fostering hatred. Our main strength is in the positive motivation and the will to build for ourselves a nation and a state to be proud of. For this purpose we are ready for everything.”
Gen. Rabin said that it would be a “historic mistake” to give up any territorial gains without a secure peace treaty. “In the last round – the Six-Day War – we have achieved almost perfect military lines which, for the time being is our major achievement. It would be a historic mistake if we renounce them without effecting a change in the basic relations between ourselves and the Arab states,” he said. It is “our right to say to the Arabs: if you desire a peace agreement, let us reach a mutual understanding — a peace treaty — and we shall be prepared to withdraw to lines much more constricted than the areas we are now holding. But if you desire war, continued hatred and non-recognition of Israel’s existence, then we do not give up a single yard. There is no reason for us to hand back to those who would attack us again, the bridgeheads for their renewed aggression.”
Turning to the future. Gen. Rabin said: “I am sure that the feeling for a strong, independent and developing Israel is a vital aspect of the image of the individual Jew and of every Jewish community all over the world. We hope for the best, but we will achieve it only if we are prepared for the worst. For many centuries the fate of Israel has been and still is today in our own hands. Let us prove that we are worthy of this historic mission.”
PINCUS OUTLINES SOCIAL WELFARE NEEDS; STRESSES PROBLEM OF SERVING ARABS
Mr. Pincus told the delegates that “millions upon millions of dollars are needed from the UJA just to hold the line in the field of social welfare.” He said the Six-Day War cost Israel’s people many hundreds of millions of dollars and now, in order to stay militarily abreast of the rearmed and still belligerent Arab states, Israel’s people must continue to spend more hundreds of millions. “Israel’s taxpayers are making incredible sacrifices just to meet this life-or-death defense burden,” Mr. Pincus stressed, “and yet the vast costs of minimal social services for nearly a half-million struggling immigrants must still be faced.”
The Jewish Agency head said that, in a score of immigrant settlement towns which have been built with the help of UJA funds, there are more than 200,000 Jewish refugees from underdeveloped Moslem lands who still need every form of educational and economic aid to become fully integrated into Israel’s life. “It also has been estimated,” he said, “that some 300,000 people in the country are living below “the poverty line’ — and this is not what you would call the poverty line in America.”
Mr. Pincus pointed to still another problem that has added to Israel’s social welfare burden since the Six-Day War — “the delicate problem of hundreds of thousands of Arabs in areas now being administered by Israel.” He noted: “It may be all right for Egypt’s President Nasser or Jordan’s King Hussein to discriminate against them as fellow Arabs — and it is a proven fact that, before June,1967,the Arabs of the western bank were treated quite differently from the Arabs of the eastern bank of the Jordan River — but we are not able to do that. Firstly, we are Jews, and as Jews, we bear within us a humanitarian tradition that does not allow for differentiation. We want to avoid any discrimination against these Arab residents in Israel. We want to fully service them; to give them hospital services measuring up to ours; to see that their unemployment doesn’t get beyond the measure of our own unemployment situation; to give them better schooling and on a wider basis than they have ever had.” The cost for such social welfare aid to the Arab residents will amount to “scores of millions of dollars in the coming year alone.” Mr. Pincus said.
FRIEDMAN LISTS SIX MAJOR ELEMENTS POINTING TO CONTINUED EMERGENCY FUND
Rabbi Friedman, in announcing that the Israel Emergency Fund would continue its drive in 1968, said: “The logic behind the decision is quite clear and simple, Israel is faced with a serious military and security problem, as a result of the present political impasse. As long as the Arab world maintains its position of belligerence, the people of Israel are forced to divert all their economic strength and resources to defense at an enormous cost. This is the problem and obligation of the people of Israel, and to this they have determined to apply all their resources. Nevertheless, parallel and simultaneous with these costly defense measures, immigration, integration of immigrants into the social and economic life of the country, education for several hundred thousand immigrant children and other essential
The totality of this undertaking, Rabbi Friedman emphasized, must be the responsibility of world Jewry because Israel’s people no longer are able to continue to do it. He said the programs which the UJA must help underwrite through its enlarged Israel Emergency Fund are:
1.) Transporting and receiving new immigrants. Immigration in 1968, he predicted, may reach a figure of 30,000 “mainly from the North African Moslem countries where Jewish life was seriously disturbed as a result of the war.”
2.) Absorption of immigrants of earlier years. “It is still accurate to say,” he declared, “that there are more than a quarter of a million of previous years’ immigrants for whom the process has been nowhere completed, and for whom the whole gamut of social services is required.”
3.) Housing: “This,” he said. “remains a great problem for thousands of large immigrant families, still inadequately housed, and for the 30,000 newcomers whose arrival is anticipated next year.”
4.) Aid to 400 farm settlements; helping these hundreds of agricultural settlements into which 30,000 immigrant families were placed, achieve economic viability “is one of the most vital tasks the UJA must face in 1968,” he stated.
5.) Youth services: “the most strenuous efforts must be made in the field of youth services to replace idleness with idealism and boredom with character-building programs,” he said. “This is an area which requires everything from vocational schools and community centers to trained group workers, youth leaders and counselors, sports instructors, to absorb the mental and physical energies of a teenage population in limbo between school graduation at 14 and introduction into the army at 19.”
6.) Education: “it is in this area that our philanthropy funds can make an enormous and perhaps decisive contribution under these present circumstances, for it is obvious that, as the defense expenses mount astronomically, something must give way and the most vulnerable area is education.” he warned. “If the standards of education were to be cut back, tremendous damage would occur. At the cost of whatever exertions, we must feel responsibility for this matter, which is legitimately within our ability to undertake.”