NEW YORK (Oct. 30)
Campaign pledges of $11,787,250 for 1981 were received from participants on the Oct. 5-10 United Jewish Appeal President’s Mission to Israel, according to audited results reported here today. This is a 37 percent increase over 1980 pledges by the same contributors. An additional $2,536,950 for Project Renewal was pledged at the mission’s state dinner with Premier Menachem Begin in the Knesset.
Consisting of 422 men and women from American Jewish communities throughout the U.S., the $10,000 minimum gift mission was the largest major gifts leadership group ever brought to Israel by the UJA. It was led by UJA national vice chairman Joel Breslau of Washington, D.C.
Begin applauded the evening’s expression of leadership support for ongoing humanitarian programs and for Project Renewal as clear and strong evidence of American Jewish solidarity with Israel’s people.
Breslau and the mission’s team of top-ranking national and regional officers pointed out that the fundraising results continued an unbroken sequence of UJA national events which have resulted in increased campaign giving of 35-40 percent. This indicates that the national events achievable, they stated. The UJA is donating a 1981 goal of $635 million in the regular 98 campaign, plus a minimum of $54 million for Project Renewal.
COMPREHENSIVE FOUR-DAY PROGRAM
The state dinner ended a comprehensive four-day program which took participants into 23 Project Renewal neighborhoods to meet the President, developed dialogues with pioneering families engaged in repopulating the Galilee and in resettling in the Negev under the terms of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty; and surveyed to aide range of Jewish Agency and Joint Distribution Committee programs aiding the young, the elderly, the handicapped and new immigrants.
The concentrated President’s Mission itinerary also included a welcoming address by Israel’s President Yitzhak Navon, the mission’s post, background briefings on military security as general officers of the Israel Air Force and the northern and southern commands; presentation on the full spectrum of Jewish Agency programs by chairman Leon Dulzin, treasurer Akiva Levinsky, rural settlement department head Dr. Hanson Weitz and director-general Shimon Louis, and Project Renewal director Yehiel Admoni.
In an innovative first-night series of seven dinner meetings at the homes of outstanding Israeli personalities, groups of mission members received an overview of Israel’s present and future status which strongly combined realism with suppressions of faith and optimism. Hosts for the seen dialogues included Knesset members, Mayor Shlomo Lahat of Tel Aviv, and Avraham Shavit, president of the Israel Manufacturers’ Association.
During deeply emotional visits to Jerusalem, the full delegation of American Jewish leadership voiced allegiance to the united, historic capital of the Jewish people in a candlelit ceremony at the Western Wall, paid tribute to those who have fallen in Israel’s five wars since independence, and honored the heroes and martyrs of the Holocaust and of Jewish resistance in a Yizkor service at Yod Vashem.