Jewry’s Response to Israel’s Needs Lauded at Jewish Agency Assembly

The phenomenal response of world Jewry to the needs of Israel since the Yom Kippur War was stressed here yesterday by the heads of the two organizations responsible for raising funds in the diaspora. Speaking at the opening session of the Jewish Agency’s General Assembly, Paul Zuckerman, general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, declared that the Oct. war has shown that there is no limit to the potential of raising money when Jews are in need.

Zuckerman noted that while in 1967 the UJA raised $304 million in the United States, this year’s campaign will raise some $675 million of which $450 million has already been received in cash. Ezra Z. Shapiro, chairman of the Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal, said more than 500,000 people in 69 countries throughout the world contributed to Israel during and since the Yom Kippur War. He said this accounted for almost every Jewish family in those countries. The half million contributors, Shapiro said, exceeded the record set after the Six-Day War. He said that in many communities thousands of unsolicited voluntary contributions came from non-Jews, particularly in The Netherlands and Switzerland.

Leon Dulzin, acting chairman of the Jewish Agency, told the Assembly that the two central tasks before it were immigration and absorption of newcomers and the improvement of the quality of life in Israel. Dulzin said that during the next 25 years Israel’s population should grow to seven or eight million Jews, “a goal that is practical, a goal that can be achieved if we do what has to be done.” He said this requires continuing the fight for the emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union. “The Jews who have come out are only a trickle compared to the numbers that will come to Israel if we continue that struggle,” he said.

There are more than 135,000 Jews who are now waiting for exit visas in the USSR, Dulzin said, while the rest are watching the outcome of their struggle. He said 90,000 Soviet Jews came to Israel in a period of three years and Israel could receive the same number and more every year. He urged President Nixon, when he goes to Moscow June 27, to use his full powers and influence to assure that every Jew who wants to leave the Soviet Union, will be free to do so.

Many more Jews would immigrate to Israel from the West if the conditions of absorption were improved, Dulzin declared. He said the opportunities for Jobs and housing must be improved and at the same time Western Jews must be told they are needed in Israel. “Aliya is as important to Jewish life in the free world as it is in Israel,” he said.

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