NEW YORK (Jul. 4)
The recently formed American Sephardi Federation has joined the American Zionist Federation as a member organization with full privileges, it was announced jointly by Rabbi Israel Miller, president of the AZF and Prof. Daniel J. Elazar, president of the Federation. Both bodies have pledged to help alleviate the social and educational disabilities of Sephardic Jews in Israel.
Bernice Salpeter, chairman of the AZF’s organization committee, said the membership of the Sephardi Federation marked a “breakthrough” in AZF policy which, on a national level, hitherto restricted membership to Zionist organizations. Non-Zionist bodies have been accepted on regional levels.
The American Sephardi Federation, representing some 150,000 American Jews of Asian, African and Mediterranean origin, was established earlier this year. According to Prof. Elazar, its purpose is to strengthen the identity of Jews of Sephardic ancestry and to encourage the development of Sephardic Jews in Israel who have lagged economically and educationally behind Israel’s Ashkenazic population.