40 U.S. Jewish Leaders in Israel

A group of 40 prominent Jewish leaders from 25 major cities across the U.S. arrived yesterday in Israel to attend an emergency conference on the country’s urgent economic needs at the invitation of Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir. The group, headed by Sam Rothberg, general chairman of the Israel Bond Organization, will also meet with Prime Minister Golda Meir. It is the first national group of Jewish leaders to arrive in Israel since the cessation of hostilities in the Middle East. The delegation was accompanied by Zeev. Sher, Israel’s Economic Minister to North America.

The American Jewish leaders will confer with Sapir and other Israel government officials on the implementation of a worldwide emergency program for Israel Bonds to offset the economic dislocation caused by the recent war and to maintain Israel’s economic development program to create jobs for new immigrants. In the first two weeks of the recent war, more than $175 million in Israel Bonds were sold with $110 million of it in cash. In a brief statement prior to his departure from New York, Rothberg said: “Israel’s latest ordeal of fire has placed upon the free world, and particularly the Jewish community, the responsibility of providing greatly increased material support to preserve her freedom and to strengthen her economy.”

In another development, Jacob Stein, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, cabled Tourism Minister Moshe Kol assuring him that “we are rushing more tourists to Israel who identify and support your struggle.” Stein was responding to Kol’s appeal for an increased flow of American Jewish tourists after the cease-fire.

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