Expansion, New Education Programs for American-israel Cultural Foundation

Dr. Bernard Mandelbaum, newly elected president of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, this week announced the expansion of the Foundation and launching of new educational programs as a means of acquainting Americans with “Israel’s incredibly rich cultural creativity.” Dr. Mandelbaum, who just returned from a two-week tour of Israel, said the new programs to begin in the fall, “can also have a positive influence in improving Arab-Israeli communication.”

Dr. Mandelbaum, who took up his new post May 1 after 27 years of service to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America where he was president from 1966 to 1973, said the Foundation seeks to double its fund-raising income within two years to a goal of $2 million annually. He said the increase in philanthropic funds is necessary to meet the growing demands for scholarships and fellowships for Israel’s many talented young people. More funds are also needed to support Israel’s artistic institutions, he added.

Referring to the Foundation’s new programs, he stated, “We anticipate that this new approach to programming will counteract some of the anti-Israel propaganda being generated on the campuses today in the U.S.” Dr. Mandelbaum called upon the press and media to balance stories of Arab-Israeli clashes and tensions with more coverage of the ongoing and growing cultural activities in Israel. “It often appears from press reports as if fighting and tension were all that were happening in the Middle East,” he said.

“And this is terribly unfair, not only to a small nation that is giving new, 20th century expression to its tradition as the ‘People of the Book’ but to us, as Americans, who are denied the fullest benefit of Israel’s creativity.” Dr. Mandelbaum also announced that following consultation with local community leaders there would be expansion of the Foundation itself with the formation of new chapters in major cities in this country.

The new programs geared for college students from neighboring campuses will include dialogues, film showings and exhibits. The America-Israel Culture House will host activities for Israeli and American artists and writers.

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