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300 U.S. Jewish Leaders in Israel

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Three hundred top level leaders of American Jewry, participating in the United Jewish Appeal’s 1977 Prime Minister’s Mission, were engaged today in a heavy schedule of in-depth briefings and field trips around Israel, preliminary to launching the 1977 UJA campaign. The group, which arrived here yesterday, is headed by Frank Lautenberg, general chairman of the UJA, and Irving Bernstein, executive vice-chairman. It is, according to UJA circles here, the largest and most important Prime Minister’s Mission to date.

The participants include the men and women who set the pace for UJA campaigns in the United States and Canada, not only by the size of their individual gifts but by carrying the message of Israel’s needs to Jewish communities throughout North America. All were invited personally by Premier Yitzhak Rabin to take part in the three-day mission. They are the vanguard of more than 4000 American Jews who will come to Jerusalem in October to attend the first UJA national conference to be held in Israel.

The mission members were received at an Air Force base yesterday morning by Chief of Staff Gen. Mordechai Gur. Last night they attended a dinner at the Jerusalem Hilton Hotel where they were welcomed by Yosef Almogi, chairman of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization Executives. Almogi said that Israel’s leaders were thankful for American Jewry’s support of Israel. He stressed that the times are difficult, there are many more problems that Israel must face and therefore, “we need more” help.

Following the dinner, the mission visited the Western Wall where a ceremonial service was conducted by the army’s chief chaplain, Gen. Mordechai Piron. Early this morning, they boarded planes at Jerusalem’s Atarot Airport for a flight to Rosh Pina in Galilee from where they visited the Lebanese border and the “good fence” where Lebanese come for free medical treatment on the Israeli side. Later, the UJA leaders visited a development town. They returned to Jerusalem this afternoon for ceremonies at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial where they were addressed by the Jewish Agency’s director general Moshe Rivlin.

Their schedule tomorrow calls for a meeting with Minister of Commerce and Industry Haim Barlev and with the director generals of the ministries of education, finance and welfare. The mission will dine at the Knesset tomorrow night where they will be addressed by Rabin. The dinner will be closed to the press. Before leaving Israel the Americans will have meetings with Defense Minister Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Navon, chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee.

Reminder: There will be no Bulletin dated Sept. 6.

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