Jewish Agency Board Approves $502m Budget for 1976/77 Fiscal Year

The Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency approved a $502 million budget for the Agency’s operations during the 1976-77 fiscal year and also approved last night a request from Jewish Agency Treasurer Leon Dulzin for a $150 million interim budget pending the Agency’s General Assembly here in July.

The meeting, presided over by Board of Governors Chairman Max Fisher and attended by Yosef Almogi, chairman of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization Executives, continued for more than eight hours last night. Board members from abroad closely questioned Agency officials about how estimates of immigration were reached, how income was spent last year and what the priorities would be for spending this year should fund-raising fall below the expected goals.

Almogi replied that this year’s budget was based on an estimated 45,000 immigrants, 35,000 of them from distressed countries. He observed that “Our future will be decided not only by our geography but by our demography and therefore aliya must be our top priority.”

Finance Minister Yehoshua Rabinowitz, who attended the session along with other Treasury officials, said Israel’s economy would be helped most by greater investments, especially in export-oriented enterprises. He also called for increased tourism, setting a goal of at least one million visitors a year, and for continued support by Jews abroad for absorption projects in Israel. Other matters taken up included Jewish education in South America, Immigration and absorption and the upcoming session of the Agency’s Assembly.

Dulzin announced that his department would be using a “new and bigger” computer in August that would be more efficient than the one it will replace. Frank Lautenberg, general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, who is the president of a large computer data processing firm in New Jersey inspected the Jewish Agency’s computer operations and suggested improvements.

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