NEW YORK (Mar. 2)
In an effort to improve and streamline Zionist activities in the United States, the World Zionist Organization Executive, which met for two days in Arod, Israel, last week, is seeking a structural change in the work of American Zionist organizations.
Rabbi Joseph Stemstein, president of the American Zionist Federation, who has just returned from the meeting in Arad, told a press conference today that the structural change will involve the creation of “a unified and coordinated structure of Zionist leadership, in place of the current two-pronged set-up which comprises the AZF and the American Section of the WZO.” He stressed, however, in response to a question, that no merger of the two bodies is intended.
Another objective of the structural revision, Stemstein said, “is to vest greater control and authority in the American Zionist leadership.”
GAP BETWEEN INVESTMENTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Stemstein, claiming that “tens of millions of dollars” are being spent each year for Zionist activities in America — mainly for education, aliya and public information — said that for a long time now there has been a gap between the efforts invested and the results achieved. Therefore, in on effort to remedy the situation, “the large networks of existing Zionist organizations in the United States should be harmonized and coordinated with a systematically programmed effort of World Zionist departmental activity, much of which is embodied in a substantial corps of shlichim (emissaries), ” Stemstein said.
He said that it is important to enlarge and in many cases institute an active Zionist presence in the local Jewish communities in America. “Serious discussions concerning the present state of American Jewry was the background against which these decisions were made,” Stemstein declared, adding: “The need for greater control by our American Zionist leadership was underscored by the changing of American Jewish circumstances.”