NEW YORK (Dec. 14)
Leon Dulzin, acting chairman and treasurer of the Jewish Agency, called for “unity and solidarity” of the Jewish people as a response to the recent resolution adopted by the United Nations stating that “Zionism is a form of racism.”
“We, as one people, will fight this resolution,” Dulzin told the more than 2000 Jewish leaders attending the United Jewish Appeal National Conference here. He observed that the intentions of the Arabs and their Communist backers at the UN, who introduced the anti-Zionist resolution, are to undermine Israel’s existence and can be viewed “as a call for genocide.”
“We should take their intentions seriously.” Dulzin said, in his address Friday, adding: “We should answer as a united people.” He cited the cancellation by American Jewish organizations and individuals of scheduled trips to Mexico, which voted for the anti-Zionist resolution, as showing that “when we are together we have strength.”
Addressing himself to what he described as “my problems as a treasurer,” Dulzin called on American Jewry to increase its efforts to raise money for the Jewish Agency activities in Israel. He noted that American Jewry has done a great deal in this respect, but he asked for “a little greater effort” to raise money here.
JEWISH AGENCY BUDGET FOR 1976
Dulzin said that this year the budget of the Jewish Agency is $540 million while the budget for 1976 is $700 million. This additional sum of $160 million must be raised, Dulzin said, so the Jewish Agency can fulfill its responsibilities to more than 500,000 underprivileged Israelis.
“We are appealing to American Jews this year for a greater increase to fulfill our responsibilities,” Dulzin stated. “In spite of all our difficulties and our increased military budget, we must provide possibilities for the development of Israel and a strong infrastructure, to absorb the immigrants coming in and those who came many years ago and have not yet been absorbed. We want to keep life in Israel as normal as it can be and maintain a quality of life.”
Noting that 40 percent of Israel’s budget is spent in defense (about $4 billion), Dulzin said that the proposed $2,2 billion in aid from the U.S. government will only cover $1.5 billion of defense needs. “The burden on the Israeli government in this area is so great that the Jewish Agency has to take over more social services,” Dulzin said.
MARK UIA’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY
Other speakers were Dr. Israel Goldstein, former world chairman of Keren Hayesod, Dr. Emanuel Neuman, founder of the United Israel Appeal, and Melvin Dubinsky, chairman of the UIA, who marked the 50th anniversary of the UIA.
Goldstein observed that the UIA “has served two generations of American Jews as a means of self-identification with the Jewish heartland, Eretz Israel, and as a unifying force in American Jewry itself. At the same time it has enriched their lives as Americans as well, since Zionism opens up the fountains of human idealism.” He added: “The UIA Jubilees has one message above all others, namely, that we Jews are one people, indivisible and indestructible.”
Neuman, recalling the establishment of UIA in 1925 (known then as the United Palestine Appeal), said that by the end of 1926 the UPA “had established itself sufficiently for me to feel that I could withdraw from its active leadership in good conscience, finally to devote more attention to my private affairs. I considered that my effort and the sacrifices involved, had all been worthwhile. The UPI, later called the UIA, has remained ever since, a great productive force, expressing the devotion of American Jews to our historic Zionist goal, down to the present day.”
Dubinsky stated that the UIA has become “the bridge between American Jewry and the Israeli people. Through the Reconstituted Jewish Agency for Israel, we join Jews throughout the world in receiving the homeless from Russia. Syria and Rumania, and assisting them by using the funds raised by the UJA and the Jewish Agency–to new lives in freedom.” He added: “Our goals remain the same as those articulated 50 years ago. We gather once more to rededicate ourselves and our efforts to Jewish survival.”