Need to Stimulate Aliya Among Latin American Jews

Leaders of the Mapam-sponsored Kibbutz Haartzi movement debated today how to stimulate aliya among Latin American Jews, especially those in Argentina, a nation of political and economic strife where anti-Semitic groups have stepped up their hate propaganda in recent months. Nathan Peled, secretary of Kibbutz Haartzi, claimed that Argentine Jews were living on the brink of a volcano.

He urged the government and the Jewish Agency to do much more than they have been doing to encourage aliya from Latin America. He said there was a great need for emissaries who are educators and could imbue the youth with Zionist ideology. The present political emissaries sent by the Jewish Agency do not do the job he said.

But Aryeh Slutzki of Kibbutz Gaash, who settled in Israel 30 years ago–one of the first South American Jews to do so–cautioned that Zionist emissaries must not stress impending catastrophe no matter how seriously they view the situation in Argentina. They must offer the youth something positive in the form of ideological answers to their needs, rather than exhort them to run away when they see no need to escape.

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