Religious Zionist Parties Will Receive Two Seats on Jewish Agency Executive

The religious Zionist parties will be given two seats on the new Jewish Agency Executive in accordance with an agreement approved by the Executive yesterday. One will carry the portfolio of the Religious Education Department and one will be without portfolio, but the member will be associated with the affairs of the Agency’s Absorption Department. The seats will be filled respectively by Moshe Krona and Mordechai Kirschblum. The agreement will bring about the return to the Executive of the Mizrachi and Hapoel Hamizrachi factions. They had refused to participate in the new Executive established at the 27th World Zionist Congress here in June because they were deprived of the Aliyah (immigration) Department which the religious parties had controlled for 30 years. Aryeh Pincus, chairman of the Jewish Agency, was given the Aliyah portfolio.

The new head of the Jewish Agency’s Youth and Hechalutz Department believes a visit to Israel is worth more than thousands of words in the effort to stimulate youths to immigrate here. Mordechai Bar-On said at his first press conference today that even a brief visit would help foster Jewish identity among young Jews far removed from it and could lead eventually to Aliyah. Mr. Bar-On said his department would make a major effort to increase the capacity of the various summer and winter programs In Israel for youth from abroad. He said that the lack of facilities prevented 500 youths from attending summer camps and summer courses here and resulted in hardships for some who did come. According to Mr. Bar-On, the programs organized by the Jewish Agency’s Education and Torah Education Departments attracted 1,500 youths from abroad this year in addition to 2,500 who joined various summer institutes and camps. He expected 3,000 youths to come next year and said the number could be increased to 4,000 annually.

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