TEL AVIV (Jan. 5)
Leon Dulzin, Jewish Agency treasurer, disclosed today that the government will start immediately on the construction of 6,000 new housing units at a cost of $10 million to meet the heavy influx of immigrants expected during 1972. Dulzin said at a press conference here that half of the sum will be covered by the Jewish Agency through loans and fund-raising drives abroad. Dulzin aroused a controversy two weeks ago when he suggested that the Absorption Ministry be abolished for economic reasons because it allegedly duplicates the work of the Jewish Agency. He said later he was expressing only his personal views.
At today’s press conference, Dulzin said that he has not yet made that proposal formally, but he offered newsmen statistics calculated to enhance the Jewish Agency’s importance in the spheres of immigration and absorption. Dulzin stated that the Agency’s overall expenditures since the 1967 Six-Day War totalled $1,468,327,000. He said the Jewish Agency’ at present looks after 25,108 immigrants in 22 hostels, five student hostels, 28 absorption centers and four ulpanim–Hebrew study centers.
Dulzin added that the Agency’s Youth Aliya department was taking care of more than 11,000 children at institutions and kibbutzim and that some 500 settlements receive support from the Jewish Agency. He noted that 57 new settlement were established since the Six-Day War.
Of the 13,000 Soviet Jews who immigrated to Israel during 1971, Dulzin said, that not a single one wanted to go to the United States although American authorities have announced their readiness to accept Russian Jews with exit visas. Soviet Jews seeking emigration must present Russian authorities with documents from relatives in Israel inviting them to come.
According to a Jewish Agency report prepared for the 28th World Zionist Congress, 40 percent of the immigrants who arrived in Israel since 1968 came from the 12 richest countries of the world and even those from the poorer countries represented the better educated, more affluent strata of society. The report stated that most of these immigrants had to lower their living standards on arrival in Israel.
The report said that one-third of all new comers were college and university graduates and professionals such as engineers, physician, chemists and lawyers. More than 60 percent were under 26 years of age and only six percent were over 65. The report said that since the last Zionist Congress in 1968, 30.000 immigrants came from North America. The total immigration since then was 105,000.