NEW YORK (Feb. 13)
Rabbi Israel Miller, president of the American Zionist Federation, hailed today the bipartisan efforts in the Senate and House to aid Soviet Jews to settle in Israel. Referring to the aid bills by Senators Edmund S. Muskie (D.,Me.) and Henry M. Jackson (D.,Wash.) and Rep. Jonathan Bingham (D.,N.Y.), Rabbi Miller stated that these efforts “should receive widespread support as a way of helping Israel bear the burden of welcomed immigration of Jews from the Soviet Union.”
The American Zionist leader emphasized, however, that the Jewish community in this country must realize that the financial burden still rests on the Jewish community to support special efforts now being undertaken by the United Jewish Appeal to help in the integration of the Soviet immigrants.
“The introduction of bills is not tantamount to immediate financial aid,” he said. “There is a long way between the introduction and the final appropriation. Meanwhile, the Jewish community must mobilize all its resources through the UJA to aid in the housing, clothing, food, medical care, education and training for settlement in Israel of Jews from the Soviet Union.”
The Muskie bill, which is co-sponsored by Senators Richard Schweiker (R.,Pa.), Jacob K. Javits (R.,N.Y.), and Abraham Ribicoff (D.,Conn.) calls for a grant of $85 million. The Bingham measure, co-sponsored by Rep. Seymour Halpern (R.,N.Y.) and supported by about 40 other members of the House also calls for $85 million. The Jackson bill calls for a grant of $250 million with the President authorized to determine its expenditure.
Rabbi Miller, noting that some 30,000 Soviet Jews are expected this year in Israel and that some 4,000 had already arrived in Israel last month, declared that “as Zionists we welcome the increased aliya and stand ready to aid this movement.”