NEW YORK (Feb. 10)
National Aliya Month, aimed at encouraging American Jews, particularly young Jews, to settle in Israel was launched here today at a reception by the American Zionist Federation and the American Section of the World Zionist Organization. National Ally Month, which will end on March 10, was initiated following a call for aliya issued to world Jewry by the WZO in Jerusalem and endorsed by Israel Premier Golda Meir.
The reception was attended by over 100 leaders of the Jewish community in New York. The guest of honor was Israel’s Consul General in New York, Ambassador David Rivlin. The guests were addressed by Rabbi Israel Miller, president of the American Zionist Federation, who was recently elected chairman of the Conference of Presidents, and by Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, president of the American Jewish Congress.
Rabbi Miller said that “Aliya Month has been proclaimed as a declaration of faith in the future of Israel and the Jewish people. Aliya Month is both the central word in the Zionist lexicon and the central act in the hierarchy of Zionist responsibilities.”
He noted that the AZF “fully cognizant of the personal problems attendant upon aliya, particularly the questions potential olim ask about Israel after the Yom Kippur War,” has invited a group of former U.S. residents to return for several weeks to the cities from which they left for Israel to answer questions with candor and the knowledge of their own experience. “They will report on the reality of Israel today to which they are contributing their talents and presence, as well as on the dream of Israel which motivated their aliya,” Rabbi Miller said.
Rabbi Hertzberg said that “Americans of all persuasions have throughout the whole of American life–the whole of the last two centuries–provided important personal help to the creation of other societies which were their realization, and that an appreciable American Jewish contribution to the formation of Israel’s life and society is in keeping with American precedent.”
Both speakers noted that since the Six-Day War over 35,000 Jews from the U.S. and Canada emigrated to Israel, 25 percent of whom were professionals now practicing their professions in Israel’s industry, research establishments and institutes of higher learning and hospitals. They also announced that more than 2000 events will take place throughout the country during Aliya Month, ranging from parlor meetings to rallies.