NEW YORK (Dec. 9)
Paul Zuckerman, general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, reported here that the 1974 UJA campaign, initiated shortly after the start of the Yom Kippur War, had already raised more money than had been raised in any prior complete campaign in UJA history, an achievement he said unparalleled in American philanthropy. Zuckerman made his status report at the opening session Friday of the 1974 UJA national conference to more than 2000 American Jewish leaders.
“The post-Yom Kippur world is a different world, and it requires of us a new kind of human response,” he explained. “When we say ‘commitment and sacrificial giving,’ we must mean them in a most literal sense…for we have a mission, and that is to assure not only the survival of the people of Israel, but to guarantee them and all those who will come in future years a life free from the fear of want. At this time when so much is in doubt, so much in jeopardy, we can only fulfill that mission by meeting the goal of $750 million for humanitarian needs.”
The keynote address was given by Avraham Harman, president of Hebrew University and a former Ambassador of Israel to the United States. “The American Jewish community,” he said, “is part and parcel of the voluntary mobilization of the entire Jewish people. You are determined, as are the people of Israel, that the Jewish people shall have freedom, both as individuals and as a people. Together we shall ensure that freedom, because our will and need to survive is much stronger than the will and the need of our enemies to destroy us.”
In his address earlier to the 400 delegates attending the Joint Distribution Committee’s 59th annual meeting at the New York Hilton Hotel, Harman said that at least 25 percent of the Jewish people are in countries where they are not allowed to leave for Israel. “Not every Jew wants to leave, but every Jew would like to have the right to leave,” he stated. Noting that during October, the month of the Yom Kippur War, almost 5000 Soviet Jews arrived in Israel, Harman said this could not be the result of Zionist propaganda. “Where is there Zionist propaganda in Moscow?” he asked. “Where is there an office of the World Zionist Organization? Where is there the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in Moscow?”
Harman stressed that in fighting for the right of free emigration Jews were fighting not only for themselves but also for all peoples. He said that in defending Israel, Jews were also fighting for diversity throughout the world. “The real essence of Israel is that it is an open door for the Jewish people who need it,” he declared. “That is what we are defending there.”