WESTFIELD, N.J (Dec. 28)
The Jewish Community Council has established an “Israel Subsidy Program” to encourage every Jewish high school student in the town to visit Israel before college, it was announced here today. The program has been funded by the local Welfare Fund through a first-year allocation of $10,000, according to Sanford Simon, Welfare Fund chairman. This program is believed to be the first of its kind in the country. A community of 4,000 Jews, Westfield since 1968 has been sending 20 to 30 students a year to Israel on summer programs. Through the subsidy, leaders expect to double this number in a short time, creating a “snow-ball” effect so that it becomes “in” to go to Israel. This summer between 20 to 40 students will receive grants of $250 to $500 to assist them in joining programs sponsored by the National Federation of Temple Youth, American Zionist Youth Foundation, Young Judaea and others, according to Dr. Harold Wasserman, Community Council president. Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff of Westfield’s Temple Emanu-El praised the Community Council’s leadership for its vision. “These subsidies,” he stated, “will serve a dual purpose. They will strengthen our local youth and simultaneously prepare the next generation to meet its responsibilities to Israel. Those who maintain that all of our funds must go directly to Israel are short-sighted. Unless we raise a new generation of committed American Jews, both Israel and American Jewry will be in deep trouble in 20 years.” More than a dozen communities have already contacted Westfield seeking details in order to establish similar programs in their areas, according to a Council spokesman.
There will be no JTA Daily News Bulletin on Friday, January 1, due to the New Year holiday.