JERUSALEM (Jul. 31)
A significant part, if not a majority, of the 4,000 American Jews who came to Israel this year as settlers are religious and observant Jews, Rabbi Mordecai Kirshblum of New York asserted today at the opening session here of the 60th annual convention of the Religious Zionists of America. A former president of the organization, he is now a member of the Jewish Agency Executive.
He also said that plans were under way to establish in Israel special quarters or improved special housing projects for religious Jews from the United States. He estimated that American immigrants to Israel next year would total more than 6,000 persons. Herman Hollander, former treasurer of the organization, said Israel’s economy was stable and could absorb large numbers of immigrants from the U.S.
The Religious Zionists’ convention received a greeting from President Richard M. Nixon. In a letter to its president, Rabbi Herschel Schacter of New York, Mr. Nixon said, “That you are meeting in Jerusalem–a seat sacred to three worldwide faiths and source of inspiration for all mankind–gives added significance to this occasion. I join in your prayer for peace to all men particularly in the troubled Near East.”
Moshe Chaim Shapiro, Minister of the Interior and president of the World Mizrachi Movement, opened the convention with Government’s greetings and a warning to Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser that Israel can again defeat his armed forces. He called on religious Jews in the Diaspora to lead the aliyah from the free world. Rabbi Schacter called on American authorities to provide Israel with political and defense assistance. The opening session was attended by President Zalman Salazar. Cabinet members, Keenest members and some 1, 000 delegates and guests.