NEW YORK (Oct. 17)
Citing the “obnoxious sight” of Yasir Arafat, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, at the United Nations in 1974, and the “despicable” 1975 General Assembly Zionism-is-racism resolution, Faye Schenk, president of the American Zionist Federation, called on the American Jewish community to “be steeled in preparation for what this year’s Assembly might concoct.”
“The great universal human cause which motivated the authors of the UN Charter 30 years ago, can be given no better service than to expose the evils of those who, fearing freedom, have destroyed the Charter and with it the UN,” she said at a special press conference in advance of the fourth biennial national convention of the AZF at Grossingers, N.Y. Oct. 19-21.
Pointing out that the theme of the convention is “Zionism, New Challenges, and New Opportunities,” Mrs. Schenk said that “the American Zionist Federation, whose main purposes are to teach and disseminate the great and enduring principles of Zionism, will continue to pursue its course of education.”
Declaring that the AZF has grown substantially and that its program has been expanded throughout the country, Mrs. Schenk said the AZF deserves and merits greater recognition from the leadership of the world Zionist movement.”
ZIONISM HAS NEW ACCEPTANCE
Rabbi Israel Miller, honorary president of the AZF and convention chairman, declared that Zionism has “new acceptance” in the community and that the AZF “will be making an in-depth” exploration of Zionist ideology at the convention. He also stressed that there would be several sessions on aliya and that “aliya is central to the Zionist movement and to the AZF.”
Both Mrs. Schenk and Miller said that the convention, which is expected to be attended by about 500 delegates, will deal with topics such as interreligious affairs, public affairs, seminars to Israel, Soviet Jewry and Jews in Arab lands, as well as Zionist ideology.
“This will be an in-depth working convention,” Mrs. Schenk said, noting that all of the convention’s plenary sessions and workshops will be devoted to the specific issues in the Zionist community and the various educational and informational programs now being conducted by the AZF. She also said that during these last two years a number of Zionist federations have been revitalized and that the impact of the Zionist program is now visible in local communities throughout the country.
Mrs. Schenk said a highlight of the convention will be an address by Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz on Oct. 20.