Fund-raising for Israel Reaches ‘incredible’ Heights
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Fund-raising for Israel Reaches ‘incredible’ Heights

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World Jewry is attaining soaring new heights in its financial support for Israel during this crisis period. This became apparent from two separate reports today by leaders of the United Jewish Appeal-United Israel Appeal and the Israel Bond organization. Max Fisher of Detroit, the chairman of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors, honorary general chairman of the UJA and chairman of the UIA, told newsmen here that the 1967 figures would be surpassed three-and-a-half times by the current campaign. Sam Rothberg of Peoria, Ill., the Bond’s national chairman, said he was confident of selling $500 million worth of bonds by the year’s end–compared with $217 million in 1967 and $270 million in 1972, hitherto the record year.

Leon Dulzin, acting chairman of the Jewish Agency and its treasurer, announced that the Agency was increasing its budget for the current 1973-74 year from $410 million to $720 million and had undertaken to relieve the government of Israel of the costs of services such as health, housing welfare, education and immigrant absorption. The Bonds organization has undertaken to cover the State’s entire $640 million development budget, and Rothberg, who appeared before newsmen together with Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir, was certain that the target would be met. Fisher said the UJA-UIA figure to be reached was one-and-a-quarter billion dollars–$750 million from U.S. Jewry and half a billion from the rest of the world. Receipts so far have been most encouraging. By the end of Nov. there would be $600 million in cash and a further $200 million in definite pledges–all this since the Yom Kippur War broke out, Fisher said.

In 1967, the record year with its Emergency Appeal, $346 million had been raised–$210 million in the U.S. and $136 million in the rest of the world. Fisher spoke of “unbelievable enthusiasm” of people mortgaging their homes and foregoing new cars in order to give for Israel. This tremendous enthusiasm, he stressed, came in spite of current economic difficulties in the U.S. and elsewhere. As an example, he cited his home town of Detroit, where, at a breakfast meeting that he summoned on the morrow of Yom Kippur, he raised more than half the town’s entire total for the previous year. Fisher, together with Detroiter Paul Zuckerman, UJA national chairman, and other leaders had held a nation-wide phone campaign which had brought in $120 million cash in five days.

UJA and UIA are, meanwhile, bringing over here top fund-raising and communal leaders on emergency study missions. The first UJA mission since the war arrived this week for a three-week tour. It consists of 30 leaders of the Women’s Division headed by its chairman Elaine Siris. The UIA announced it would bring over some 800 persons in study missions over the next fortnight. Rothberg said at his and Sapir’s press conference that of the $500 million to be raised by the year’s end, $380 million was already in the Treasury’s coffers. He declared that his organization “hasn’t even scratched the surface yet” and gave a sanguine prognosis for the future. The success of the past month had proven, if proof were needed that there was tremendous potential to be tapped, he stated, Rothberg said the U.S. labor movement would buy $100 million worth of Bonds and noted a steep rise in other non-Jewish participation in the Bonds campaign.

Both Rothberg and Fisher noted that their two campaigns were progressing at top gear at the same time. They both said this was not in the least a hindrance to either of them. Fisher pointed out that while every Jew gives not everyone buys Bonds–though many do both. Sapir avoided a question from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on whether the government agreed to the Histadrut’s demand that all the recent taxes, loans, price rises and subsidy cuts would be reflected in the cost-of-living increase to be paid in Jan. to all employed persons. There would be plenty of time to talk about this, Sapir said, indicating that he did not necessarily agree with the trade union organization on this demand. Observers feel the government may press for some or all of the price rises engendered by the new taxes and levies to be omitted from calculations of the C-O-L allowances to be paid in Jan.

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