Sapir: South American Jewry is Potential for Large-scale Aliya

Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization Chairman Pinhas Sapir said here this week that he regarded South American Jewry as “the main potential for large-scale aliya.” Sapir was addressing a WZO Executive session devoted to South America’s problems. Sapir warned against illusions, however. There would be no aliya from South America without educational and informational efforts designed to foster and encourage it. Sapir is due to visit South America during Aug. to consult with communities there.

The aliya department’s director, Uzi Narkiss, said that the Argentinean “aliya movement” encompassed 4000 members all of whom had pledged to make aliya within three years.

Also speaking of the challenge of aliya this week, Jewish Agency Director Moshe Rivlin expressed the view that the tightened bonds between Israel and the diaspora since the Yom Kippur War would quickly be loosened unless there was wide-scale aliya–encouraged by Israel and by Israelis–and unless Israelis did not determinedly develop those bonds.

Rivlin called for the establishment of a mass movement in Israel which would foster ties with the diaspora, help welcome immigrants and forge contacts with tourists and visitors. Israel’s ties with the diaspora must no longer be the concern only of those few professionals paid to care about them, Rivlin declared.

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