Dulzin Introduces Austerity Budget for Jewish Agency

Leon Dulzin, Jewish Agency treasurer, presented today to the fourth annual Assembly of the Jewish Agency a $541.9 million budget for the current fiscal year which began last April 1, a budget $150 million below that he presented last year. Describing the 1975-76 budget as a realistic attempt to balance expenditures against expected income, he said he was “very unhappy” with the budget because it reflected only income which could be anticipated and therefore “falls far short of being adequate on the expenditure side which is supposed to reflect needs.”

He said that he had drafted an additional “budget” of $160-million to show the more than 300 delegates what could be done and what needed to be done if the additional funds were available. He declared he felt the potential of fund-raising by the United Jewish Appeal in the United States and the United Israel Appeal outside the United States had not been exhausted and he urged the Jewish leaders to undertake even greater efforts.

He said the estimated not contributions were $388,1 million from the UJA and $126,1 million from the UIA. He said the U.S. government would contribute an additional $36 million and that receipts from the Israel Education Fund and other special funds would total $26 million.

LARGEST ALLOCATION FOR ALIYA, ABSORPTION

The largest single allocation was for aliya and absorption for which the Dulzin budget provided almost $98 million. He said that figure was based on an annual aliya of 45,000 newcomers but he acknowledged that present forecasts, based on a heavy drop in immigration this year, were considerably lower. He argued, however, that the Jewish Agency must plan for the long term and not be daunted by transitional trends. He said he had taken into account potential as well as actual aliya projections.

Dulzin said the situation could change quickly both in the Soviet Union and in Western countries, leading to large and sudden waves of aliya, In South American, which he said he knew well, the Jews lived “on the thin edge of economic disaster because of the terrible political instability and recurring threats of anti-Semitic outbreaks.”

Dulzin earmarked $42.3 million for social welfare services in Israel, a $20 million outback from actual expenditures the previous year. He said this reflected the Israel government’s shouldering of the burden of welfare subsidies, but, he asked rhetorically, was the government in fact in an economic position to shoulder new burdens?

He listed $11,6 million for health services and $44,3 million for pre-university education, both items slashed compared with the previous year. He said $80,8 million would go to universities, the same total as last year and $38,1 million to youth care and training, a figure higher than that of last year to take account of Youth Aliya’s expanding program to educate disadvantaged Israeli youth as well as young immigrants.

The budget figure for settlement was $64.3 million, more than last year, with large sums earmarked for the Agency’s settlement projects in the Arava and the Galilee. The figure for housing, $91.6 million, was less than the amount spent in that category last year, reflecting the drop in aliya. But Dulzin warned that it was inadequate, adding that even the “pessimistic” aliya forecasts would require more money for housing than he had been able to allocate.

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