Jewish Agency Executive Chairman Pinhas Sapir told the World Zionist Organization Executive that he hoped to have the immigrant housing shortage eliminated within nine months. He reported to the Executive on talks he had held with the Ministers of Finance and Housing. Sapir also outlined a longer-range plan which he had begun to discuss with the government the construction of 60,000 immigrant housing units over the next three years.
On the employment front, he said efforts were being made to find jobs for university-trained immigrants, with the Commerce Ministry already having undertaken to find work for 200 such persons. Sapir said his talks with the government had also covered plans for setting up artisans’ centers and retail shopping centers which would attract immigrant craftsmen and traders as well as boost the economy.
Sapir said he planned to urge the youth sections of the various political parties to undertake to send 2000 of their members to live and work in border development towns. He said the effect on these towns of an influx of young Israelis would inevitably make them more attractive to arriving immigrants too.
Sapir also welcomed the World Union for Progressive Judaism (Reform) decision to affiliate with the WZO. Leon Dulzin, WZO treasurer, said the Union’s decision, taken unanimously at a conference in London last week, was an historic turning point.
Rabbi Richard Hirsch, Jewish Agency and WZO Executive member and a Reform rabbi, told the Executive that while the Reform movement had earlier produced individual Zionists like the late Abba Hillel Silver and Stephen Wise, the movement as such would now become part of the Zionist enterprise.