WASHINGTON (Oct. 5)
Two special U.S. educational programs, one involving a newly formed consortium of six Jewish organizations and Israel in an assistance program for Third World nations, and another encouraging Arabs to study in Israel and Israelis in Arab countries, are on their way towards practical fulfillment.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) has provided a grant of $1,051,000 to the Consortium for Community Self-Help (CCSH) for its use over a three-year period that will help make available the expertise and technicians of the six Jewish organizations to the poorest nations of the developing world.
This grant was signed Sept. 29 in the office of Rep. Clarence Long (D.Md.) chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on AID, by Robert Nooter, AID deputy administrator, and Irving Kessler, the consortium board’s acting chairman who is executive vice-chairman of the United Israel Appeal. Besides the UIA, the consortium members are Hadassah, the Joint Distribution Committee, Pioneer Women of America, American Mizrachi Women, and the National Committee for Labor Israel.
Maurice D. Atkin, of Robert R. Nathan Associates, consultant to the CCSH, is serving as temporary executive director of the consortium until its board selects a permanent staff.
For many years, Atkins observed, the consortium organizations have been carrying out development projects that have contributed towards making Israel a developed nation. By combining their resources, the consortium will be able to assist in a broad range of development programs in community health and nutrition, educational and vocational training, food production, processing and marketing, improving the status of women, cooperative development, and community and leadership development.
ELEMENTS OF THE PROGRAMS
Under the program, Israel will teach trainees in Israel from Third World countries and Israeli experts will go abroad. The consortium, which is registered with the State Department as a private voluntary organization, will cooperate in joint projects with United Nations development groups, AID, the Organization of American States and other international bodies, Atkins said. The consortium expects to have projects operating in at least five countries in its second year of service and involve as many as 50 countries before the three-year grant period ends.
A House-Senate conference committee, acting on the foreign aid appropriations bill for the coming fiscal year, has earmarked $1 million for support of Israeli students studying in American-sponsored centers of learning in Arab countries and Arab students in such centers in Israel.
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D. Hawaii), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, asked for $3 million in introducing the legislation in the Senate with the support of Sen. Richard Schweiker (R.Pa.), the subcommittee’s ranking Republican. However, this sum was reduced in conference. The lower amount is expected to be approved by both House and Senate when they consider the foreign aid bill before Congress is due to adjourn Oct. 12.
This fund is to be part of the $25 million being provided in the U.S. assistance program for schools, libraries and hospitals which were founded or sponsored by U.S. citizens and have served, Inouye said, as study or demonstration centers for ideas and practices of the United States.
He pointed out that the Camp David summit conference “has presented us with a unique opportunity to foster peace and understanding in the Middle East,” and the AID program he outlined would be “a most appropriate way of encouraging understanding in the Middle East.”