NEW YORK (Dec. 12)
Paul Zuckerman of Detroit was last night named General Chairman of the United Jewish Appeal at the annual banquet session of the UJA’s annual national conference. The 59-year-old businessman and philanthropist succeeds Edward Ginsberg of Cleveland who is now UJA president and chairman of the American Joint Distribution Committee.
The banquet, which was attended by 3,500 people, heard Premier Golda Meir declare that the United States was Israel’s best friend and declare that “We will not put the fate of the existence of Israel and the people of Israel in the hands of anybody else but our own,” (See separate story).
In accepting the chairmanship, Zuckerman said that his goal was to “mobilize all of the strength and resources of the American Jewish community to keep our promise to the people of Israel and Jews all over the world. We shall keep the promise of a haven in Israel for all those who seek freedom from oppression, freedom to live as Jews among Jews.” The UJA’s annual conference which began Friday and ends today, launched its 1972 nationwide campaign to raise funds for humanitarian programs for needy Jews in some 30 countries and for humanitarian programs for immigrants in Israel.
Speaking at an earlier session of the conference, Leon Dulzin, treasurer of the Jewish Agency, urged American Jews to make an increased commitment to the UJA for 1972 in view of the enormity of human needs the people of Israel face. The UJA has the responsibility for raising $450 million of the Jewish Agency budget of $1,125 billion for 1972. Moshe Rivlin, director general of the Jewish Agency, told the delegates that with the arrival during the last nine months of 50,000 immigrants in Israel, some 9,000 of them Jews from the Soviet Union, health insurance, vocational training, schools, housing and hospital beds were urgently needed.
50,000 IMMIGRANTS IN ISRAEL IN 1972
Zuckerman declared that the UJA will help bring 50,000 new immigrants to Israel in 1972, and will help them become absorbed in their new society, and strive to bring a life of dignity and opportunity to tens of thousands of newcomers living in sub-standard conditions. He stressed that the urgency and uncertainty of times for the people of Israel called for the most extensive campaign ever launched by the UJA.
He said that the 1972 campaign, which he predicted would raise a record amount, will be built around the slogan “Keep the Promise” which would serve to remind responsible people everywhere that Jews in Israel and throughout the world are still in vital need of assistance with a wide variety of human needs.
In his acceptance speech, Zuckerman stated: “Whatever history has in store for the Jewish people–in Israel, in Russia, or anywhere in the world–I am sure of one thing–that we will find the resources, the energy and the funds to do what must be done. We will do it because we have learned that ‘the unity of the Jewish people’ is not a ciiche, but a fact. No longer is it ‘us’ and ‘them’–it is ‘anachnu’- we. We are one people.”
He concluded, “Whenever a Jew is threatened, we will stand firmly at his side. Wherever a Jew is hungry, we will bring him food. Wherever a Jew is bleeding, we will bind his wounds. And wherever there is a single Jew who cannot live in peace, we will find him, and we will bring him to freedom, and we will help him to live with pride and with dignity.”
DULZIN URGES INCREASED COMMITMENT
Dulzin, who spoke at the opening plenary session, noted that “while UJA’s 1971 campaign reflects a 30 percent increase over 1970, it is still insufficient to meet the Jewish Agency needs this year. In 1972 we will need much more to keep our immigration programs viable. Especially with the continued arrival of Soviet Jewry we must increase our commitment.” “Russian Jews have new hope and new courage,” he said. “Their hope is Israel, and their courage is in knowing that we, their fellow Jews, are with them.”
The session included a presentation by Samuel Haber, executive vice-chairman of the American Joint Distribution Committee, who discussed the “circle of concern” of the organization’s extensive programs of rescue, relief and rehabilitation in more than 25 countries. Gottlieb Hammer, executive vice-chairman of the United Israel Appeal, which is responsible for allocating all UJA funds expended in Israel, surveyed social problems in Israel and noted that “Housing is the most critical problem, and is the root cause of all of the social imbalances the people of Israel face. In the next five years, we will need $2 billion for housing needs. In 1972 alone 41,000 housing units are needed and of these 18,000 are new apartments for young couples.”
A dinner inaugurating the UJA campaign was held Thursday night in honor of Ginsberg who was elected in 1967 and has led the UJA through its greatest fund-raising efforts in its 33-year history. “The people of Israel live with uncertainty and under constant threat of war,” Ginsberg told the group. “While they man the battlelines on the borders, American and World Jewry must be prepared to help fight the war against poverty in Israel. This continues to be our responsibility.”