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Lautenberg Tells Israelis ‘the American Jew Wants to Do His Share’

Only days after the latest wave of austerity measures imposed by the government, a-300-member group of top American Jewish leaders will arrive here to study Israel’s economic problems with a view to encouraging greater U.S. Jewish efforts to support the Jewish State.

The annual United Jewish Appeal Study Mission will begin Oct. 6 and continue for a week of in-depth studies–including field trips throughout the country, from the Golan to new Jewish Agency settlement projects in the Galilee, to the new lines of defense in Sinai. Frank R. Lautenberg, UJA general chairman and Irving Bernstein, UJA executive vice-chairman, arrived here yesterday to lay the groundwork for the study mission and hold talks with top Israeli leaders. Lautenberg said on arrival that Jewish support for Israel in the U.S. was “as solid as ever.”

He and Bernstein will also take part in this week’s Jewish Agency Board of Governors meetings. Privately, they will join in consultations with top Israeli political figures on the future chairmanship of the Jewish Agency, vacant since Pinhas Sapir’s death.

Premier Yitzhak Rabin told Labor Party leaders last week he wished to consult with diaspora leaders before Labor finally comes out in support of Haifa Mayor Yosef Almogi’s candidacy. The other contender for the post is Agency treasurer and acting chairman Leon Dulzin On Monday Rabin discussed the issue with Max Fisher, also here for the Board of Governors meeting. Fisher is the chairman of the Board, Neither would comment after the meeting, Fisher later met with Dulzin who termed his (Fisher’s) position “fair and objective,” The Jewish Agency Board of Governors is due to discuss the subject of a new Agency chairman at its meeting tomorrow.

The study mission will be UJA’s second kickoff for its 1976 campaign which is targeted to top-$600 million. The campaign opened last month with the “Prime Minister’s Mission” of top contributors and fund-raisers. That mission’s members pledged personally more than $14 million, which Lautenberg yesterday termed “a hopeful beginning,” Lautenberg said he had a simple message of solidarity for Israelis: “The American Jew wants to do his share.”

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