ATLANTA (Sep. 11)
The 1977 International Fall Leadership Conference of the Israel Bond Organization closed here today after launching a special High Holidays effort on behalf of Israel Bonds in which more than 1100 congregations in the United States and Canada will participate. The program was announced this morning by Rabbi Leon Kronish, chairman of the National Rabbinic Cabinet of the Bond Organization who said that the High Holidays program will be the first major phase of the fall campaign to sell Israel Bonds to aid Israel’s troubled economy.
Kronish expressed hope that the program will produce substantially more than the $34 million realized in last year’s Bonds effort on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. He said that High Holidays worshippers will be asked to enroll as “Guardians of Jerusalem” by subscribing to $1000 or more in Israel Bonds in observance of the 10th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification.
Synagogues participating in the program will have special ceremonies during the High Holidays services at which they will be presented with the flag of Jerusalem flown from Israel to be awarded to congregations for their support of that country’s economic development.
Sam Rothberg, general chairman of the Israel Bond Organization, described the broader scope of activity in the business world on behalf of Israel Bonds. “I am convinced that American businessmen are identifying themselves with Israel against Arab attempts to stop them from doing business with Israel,” Rothberg said.
PREDICTS ECONOMIC UPTURN IN ISRAEL
Dr. Leon Keyserling, who served as chairman of the Economic Advisory Council in the Truman Administration, predicted an early upturn in Israel’s economy along with a general improvement in the world economic situation. Speaking at the final session, the prominent economist noted that Israel had “no monopoly on economic difficulties.”
He asserted that the same problems have confronted all of the strong nations of Western Europe, Japan and South American countries. Keyserling observed that Israel’s problems of low economic growth, inflation and unemployment have also made their appearance recently in the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
Michael Arnon, president of the Israel Bond Organization, said that since campaigning was expanded 15 years ago to include elements outside the organized Jewish community, 3060 banks, including 75 percent of the 300 largest commercial banks in the U.S., had invested more than $335 million in Israel Bonds. Arnon said that a total of 1365 labor union have made purchases amounting to more than $100 million and pension funds, corporations and various institutions accounted for $437 million in Israel Bond purchases.
BEGIN APPEALS FOR HELP
Premier Menachem Begin appealed to the Jews of the United States and Canada to help build “a healthy economy and eradicate poverty from our society.” Begin sent a cable to the Israel Bonds conference emphasizing that Israel Bonds were, “an indispensable instrument in the future growth of Israel.”
The Israeli leader, in his message to Rothberg and Arnon, expressed his warm appreciation to the 700 Jewish leaders from the United States and Canada meting here to plan increased support for their part in providing the “infrastructure for the expansion and growth of every branch of Israel’s economy during the past three decades.”
Simcha Dinitz, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, who was the principal speaker at the dinner last night, rejected President Carter’s view that the new settlements established on the West Bank were an obstacle to peace. Dinitz said that this was being used by the Arabs “merely as an excuse not to enter into negotiations with Israel.”
At last night’s session, a special toast was offered to the friendship between the United States and Israel expressing confidence that the present Administration would carry on the “long-standing United States policy of large-scale aid to Israel.” Maynard Jackson, Mayor of Atlanta, welcomed the delegates and thanked the Israel Bond Organization for recognizing the south and the role of the Jewish communities in the area in support of Israel.
TIME FOR A CHANGE
Julian B. Venezky, national chairman for community leadership, in closing the conference, said: “It’s time for a change in the life of Israel. It’s time the people did not have to go to bed at night worrying about war and terrorists. It’s time the world and the UN stopped their hatred and hostility toward Israel. It’s time the Arabs stopped-black-mailing the big powers into challenging Israel’s right to live. It’s time they gave Israel and the Jewish people a chance to live in peace.”