TEL AVIV (Dec. 21)
Project Renewal, the joint program involving the Israeli government, the Jewish Agency and world Jewry aimed of rehabilitating 160 slum neighborhoods in Israel comprising some 45,000 poor families, was given the official go-ahead today in an agreement reached between Deputy Premier Yigael Yadin and Jerold C. Hoffberger on behalf of the Jewish Agency.
Hoffberger, who heads the international committee for Project Renewal, said here at a press conference that the agreement clearly recognizes the partnership which exists between the government of Israel and the people of Israel, the Jewish Agency and diaspora Jewry. The agreement, he added, paves the way for the implementation of Project Renewal.
COMMITTEES SET UP
The Project’s total budget is $1.2 billion, of which $600 million to be provided by world Jewry and $600 million will be matched by the Israeli government. According to the agreement signed today, the interministerial committee set up by the government and the Jewish Agency for Project Renewal will establish a committee of directors general of various government ministries and Jewish Agency departments.
The committee of directors general, chaired by Yadin and Jewish Agency Executive chairman Leon Dulzin, will be operated by their deputies who will be given full authority. Dulzin has already appointed Eliezer Rafaeli as his deputy and the appointment of a deputy for Yadin is expected soon.
The directors general committee will be responsible for the development of comprehensive renewal plans for the neighborhoods targeted for renewal. These plans would then be submitted to the interministerial committee headed by Yadin and Dulzin for approval. Once the plans are approved, the directors general committee will be responsible for implementing them.
PARTNERS WITH ISRAELI NEIGHBORHOODS
Hoffberger, of Baltimore, Md., a member of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors who earlier this month was elected chairman of the United Israel Appeal and who last month concluded a three-year term as president of the Council of Jewish Federations, said that Project Renewal was well received by Jewish communities abroad and that some $40 million had already been pledged for the Project.
Moreover, he said that Jewish communities throughout the world have become “partners” with Israeli neighborhoods slated for renewal: Baltimore, with the Ein Ganim quarter in Jerusalem; Jews of Switzerland, with the Katamon quarter in Jerusalem; San Francisco, with Tel Hanan near Haifa; Los Angeles, with the Mousrara quarter in Jerusalem; and British Jewry, with Ashkelon.
Hoffberger stressed that the local Israeli population will be involved in planning the renewal in each neighborhood through local committees to be established. He also stressed that pledges for project Renewal are only above the usual contributions to regular fund-raising campaigns for Israel in each country.