JERUSALEM (Mar. 3)
Jewish Agency Treasurer Leon Dulzin appealed urgently today to United Jewish Appeal and United Israel Appeal fund-raisers for redoubled efforts so that the Agency can meet its minimal budget commitments this year.
In a special interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Dulzin noted that, on his recommendation, the Agency’s Board of Governors which met here this week agreed to a budget of $457 million, down from an originally proposed budget of $502 million this year.
He said the new figure was in keeping with realistic estimates of income but it still represented a $70 million deficit on the basis of estimated needs. Dulzin said he was appealing to fund-raisers abroad to try to close that gap or at least, narrow it. He said the $457 million budget represented a sizeable increase over the sum actually spent by the Jewish Agency last year which was $420 million. The smaller expenditure was attributed to a drop in immigration.
Dulzin said that the 1976 campaign brought in less than had been hoped for but slightly more than the 1975 campaign, which was to the fundraisers’ credit. “But this year we are asking for even more. We know their sense of involvement and responsibility and we believe they can rise to the occasion,” he said.
BUDGET ITEMS OUTLINED
Dulzin said the only cut in expenditures relative to last year was in the Agency’s contributions to Israel universities and other institutions of higher learning which will be down by $20 million. He hoped the universities would not suffer because the government has agreed to make up the deficit.
He noted that in other areas in which the Agency shares responsibility with the government–health, welfare and some aspects of school and pre-school education–would require and receive more cash than last year from the Agency’s treasury. He said the proposed new budget allows for 20,000 immigrants this year, the same as last year, but if more come. the budget has enough “give” to take care of them.
Other budget items include: 10 new settlement to be established during the new fiscal year; 2000 more youngsters from deprived backgrounds to be enrolled in Youth Aliya schools, raising the total of Youth Aliya pupils to 18,000; scholarships for over 60,000 high school students and assistance for some 28,000 children to attend day nurseries.
Also, cash assistance for more than 40,000 elderly people homes; cash assistance for 5500 large families; assistance for 10.000 slumdwellers to move to better homes. Dulzin said that the Jewish Agency’s assistance directly benefited more than 600,000 Israelis.