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A New Jewish Experiment: the World Fund-raising Committee

“Twenty-eight years of working towards the ingathering of the Jewish people have broadened my view that Israel really numbers all 15 million Jewish people,” said Paul Zuckerman, president of the United Jewish Appeal and chairman of the World Fund-Raising Committee of the Reconstructed Jewish Agency for Israel.

Upon his return from Jerusalem, Zuckerman termed his meetings for the World Fund-Raising Committee as “a post-graduate course in Judaism.” Each country’s Jewish population has a character and a temperament of its own, Zuckerman explained. “But our common love and respect for the people of Israel has enriched our lives and given us new stature in the world.”

Emphasizing the primacy of the Jewish Agency and the Keren Hayesod, the world committee issued an appeal to world Jewry to increase the fund-raising as well as educational programs and to avoid duplication of efforts or overlapping that leads to diversity in fund-raising, Zuckerman reported upon his return.

CROSS-FERTILIZATION OF EFFORT

According to Zuckerman, the World Fund-Raising Committee is structured on interchange. He calls it “a cross-fertilization of effort.” The “cross-fertilization” scheme includes an interchange of campaign materials and speakers. While by no means denying the capacities of public appeal of Israeli speakers, Zuckerman pointed out that if Baron Rothschild come to America to talk about Jewish issues, the very pride that a man of his standing in the world takes in his Jewishness is as effective and impressive as any statement by the best Israeli speaker.

Zuckerman said he does not see America’s involvement with Israel as a one-way street. “I believe that Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East is very important to us,” he stated, pointing out that “any aid which we give to the people of Israel is not merely a token by a large democracy to a small society, but also an expression of a vested interest in perpetuating a democracy.”

In this context, Zuckerman welcomed the warning by Jimmy Carter to the oil countries that if they put embargoes against America, the U.S. will respond by putting embargoes against them. “I think it’s always better to warn a man before the fact than to punish him afterwards,” Zuckerman commented.

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