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Pincus Says Poverty in Israel Potentially Dangerous; 250,000 on Poverty Level

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“A quarter of a million Jews in Israel, mostly recent immigrants from Oriental countries, live on a poverty level, with 12 to 14 people in a 1 1/2 room apartment,” Louis A. Pincus, chairman of the Jewish Agency, told the UJA Young Leadership Mission now in Israel Comparing the Eastern immigrates with the more affluent and skilled immigrants from Western countries, Pincus described the potentially dangerous social and educational gap within Israel’s population. He stated that only 15 percent of the children from the disadvantaged sector of Israeli society graduate high school, and only 3 percent go to a university. One valuable way that the UJA assists in reversing this situation is by sponsoring much needed pre-kindergartens, especially in development towns, he said. The 105-member mission, led by Michael A. Pelavin of Flint, Michigan, has visited kibbutzim and settlements along the Beit Shean valley and the Jordanian border. They traveled through the Galilee, visiting Haifa, Acre, Safed and Tiberias and were taken to the Golan Heights, where they observed the former Syrian defense position. At a moving visit to the Western Wall, the members of the mission witnessed a swearing-in ceremony of newly-trained paratroopers. They also visited Jenin, Nablus and Ramallah.

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