JERUSALEM (Aug. 30)
Jewish Agency Chairman Leon Dulzin called on Jews throughout the world to erase their “debt of honor” to the 45,000 neglected and distressed persons in Israel and assist in their rehabilitation. In an address last night to the 1978 United Jewish Appeal’s Prime Minister’s Mission in Jerusalem, he declared:
“We have solved the social problem in Israel, but there is 13 percent of the Israeli population which we have neglected due to a lack of means. We must finish a chapter begun long ago but never completed because of insufficient funds.”
Dulzin’s address to the UJA mission blended with the Mission’s emphasis and participation in “Project Renewal,” a project directed at assisting poor families in Israel. The project’s immediate target centers on 30 poverty communities, which, if proved successful, will be expanded to 160 over the coming decade.
Dulzin noted that three central problems have faced Israel since its inception: creating a nation from many, varied languages and cultures; developing a country with virtually no resources; and solving the social problems of nearly 800,000 new immigrants from underdeveloped nations. He observed that Israel has succeeded on all three counts. “We have successfully educated a new generation, a young and healthy generation,” he said.
However, he contended, the nation cannot continue to absorb more new immigrants when so many of its own are below the poverty line. Calling the Mission’s project “the project of conscience” for every Jew throughout the world, Dulzin called on Jews everywhere to answer to their conscience and give accordingly.
On a different note, Dulzin expressed his optimism about the forthcoming Camp David summit. Noting that Israel’s most friendly neighbors do not always understand its priorities, he declared that this is because “everything we do is to secure the future of the Jewish people for generations to come. We are striving for something which seems to them to be of non-importance.”
Earlier, the Mission participants toured a number of poverty neighborhoods throughout the country. Annette Dobbs of San Francisco, national vice-chairman of the UJA Women’s Division, said that the guarantee of the project’s success rests with the Mission participants.
“We have asked our people twice in the wake of death to give to Israel more generously. And indeed, after the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War, American Jews met their extra responsibilities. Now we are asking them to do even more for the sake of life and I am convinced that they will not disappoint us.”