LONDON (Dec. 1)
The Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors has followed the World Zionist Organization Executive in endorsing the proposal to concentrate immigration and absorption of settlers in Israel under a single authority instead of dividing the functions between the Jewish Agency and Israel’s Absorption Ministry.
However, the governors, who finished a two-day meeting here yesterday, said that the proposal, known as the Horev Report, entailed complex legal, procedural and financial problems. The Jewish Agency would, therefore, appoint a special committee to study them.
(In Jerusalem, it was reported today that Premier Yitzhak Rabin told the Knesset that the Cabinet will decide within two or three months whether or not to accept the Horev Report which has been sharply condemned by Absorption Minister Shlomo Rosen. Rabin told the Knesset that he saw no haste in dealing with the report’s recommendations. In the meantime, he added, the report was being studied, including the objections by Rosen.)
Max Fisher, Board chairman, told the press that his colleagues had also studied a report on the Agency’s own workings drawn up by two professors of the Harvard Business School. There would be further studies of the Agency’s staffing policy.
AGENCY FINANCES DISCUSSED
Yosef Almogi, chairman of the WZO and Jewish Agency Executives, said that in the coming year the Agency expected to raise $440 million and, like last year, would have to operate on a deficit. Fund-raising, already suffering from the world-wide economic situation, had now been further hit by the devaluations in Mexico and Australia, although they had been particularly offset by Israel’s own series of currency devaluations.
In 1975, the deficit budget of $502 million had meant cuts in housing and education. But Almogi stressed that the essential services for aliya and absorption had been sustained. Both Fisher and Almogi spoke of the need to improve the fund-raising techniques of the Jewish Agency around the world and to strengthen young leadership in the various communities.
Answering criticism about handling of Soviet migrants who preferred to settle elsewhere than in Israel. Fisher said that, as co-chairman of a special committee which is now studying this problem, he had asked the United States government to grant visas for those who wanted to settle in the U.S.
It was also officially confirmed that Moshe Rivlin is resigning from the Jewish Agency after five years as its director general. Unlike Rivlin, his successor would not also be the director of the WZO. Fisher stressed that in choosing Rivlin’s successor the Agency would not he influenced by any affiliation he might have to a particular Israeli party. Both men paid warm tribute to Rivlin who, at 51, is to be the chairman of the Jewish National Fund. The next meeting of the Jewish Agency’s Board will be in Israel in February.