WASHINGTON (Apr. 8)
Prominent governmental figures of the United States and Israel, including newly arrived Ambassador Simcha Dinitz, joined with leaders of the American Jewish community Friday to mark the signing of agreements under which the U.S. government made $31-million available for the resettlement in Israel of Soviet Jewish refugees.
In brief ceremonies in the Thomas Jefferson Room at the State Department, Frank Kellogg, Special Assistant to Secretary of State William P. Rogers for Refugee and Migration Affairs, signed a contract transferring the funds to the United Israel Appeal, an accredited American voluntary agency. Melvin Dubinsky of St. Louis, president and chairman of the UIA board, and Gottlieb Hammer, of New York. UIA’s executive vice-chairman, signed for the agency. The UIA immediately transferred the funds to the Jewish Agency with Max M. Fisher of Detroit, chairman of that Agency’s Board of Governors, signing an agreement that the organization would use the funds as contracted with the U.S. government.
The $31 million will be drawn from the $50 million appropriated by the U.S. Congress for resettlement of Soviet refugees of whatever racial or religious background or to whatever country will receive them. Thus far. most of the refugees have gone to Israel. However, $500,000 has been made available to other voluntary organizations to help refugees resettle in countries other than Israel.
Following the ceremonies, Fisher hosted a luncheon at the International Club with about 40 guests in attendance. Among them were Senators Edmund S. Muskie (D.Maine) and Jacob K. Javits (R.N.Y.) and Reps. Gerald Ford (R.Mich.), the Republican minority leader; Jonathan B. Bingham (D.N.Y.); and John Buchanan (R.Ala.) who spoke of the humanitarian impulses behind the granting of the funds for the refugees in keeping with American traditions. Ambassador Dinitz, who arrived in Washington eight days ago to take up this duties has not yet gone to the White House to present his official credentials owing to President Nixon’s absence from Washington. He led a group of Israeli officials attending the luncheon.
State Department representatives included Assistant Secretaries of State Walter toessel (Europe); Joseph J. Sisco (Near East); and Marshall Wright (Congressional relations). Leonard Garment, Special Assistant to the President, represented the White House.
In addition to the principals at the signing ceremonies, other guests were Jacob Stein, president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: Mrs. Charlotte Jacob-son, chairman of the American Section of the Jewish Agency; Albert Adelman, vice-chairman of UIA; Maurice H: Boukstein, UIA counsel; Zelig Chinies, UIA resident representative in Israel; Aron Laor, UIA special consultant based in Geneva and Gaynor Jacobson, executive vice-president of the United Hias Service.