B’nai Zion Convention Hears Plea for American Volunteer Service in Israel

The coordinator of Sherut La’am, the Israeli version of the United States Peace Corps, called here for an intensive educational effort to help persuade American Jews to volunteer for service in Israel by clarifying to them “Israel’s superb accomplishments. despite harassment, threats and intimidation from the Arab-Soviet axis.” The proposal was made at the 59th annual convention of B’nai Zion by Dr. Aryeh Nesher, who is also staff member of the Afro-Asian Institute in Israel. He also urged young American Jews to volunteer professional and technical skills for a year’s service to Israel.

The fraternal order’s delegates also heard a message from Vice-President Hubert Humphrey in which he affirmed “America’s commitment ot the sovereignty and well-being of Israel and the peace and stability of the Middle East, indeed the world.” Raymond M. Patt, re-elected B’nai Zion president, told the several hundred delegates that “Israel needs our support now more than ever and, as American citizens, we have a right and obligation to make our voices heard throughout the land.” Herman Quittman, re-elected B’nai Zion national secretary, said that a “substantial” increase in new members during the past year had raised total membership to 25,000 and that the order has $14 million in fraternal insurance in effect.

The delegates approved a resolution criticizing Congressional enactment of a weak gun control law and urging the legislators to heed President Johnson’s plea for more effective interstate control to “help directly in reducing crime and violence.” The delegates were told that a half-million dollars had been raised by the planned B’nai Zion America-Israel Friendship House in New York, a $1 million project to be a national headquarters for B’nai Zion.

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