ARLINGTON, Va (May. 24)
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D.N.J.) said here that he learned in his campaign last year and during his nearly five months in the Senate that there is no conflict between being a good Jew and supporting what he believes is in the interest of the United States.
“What’s good for Israel is good for the United States,” Lautenberg told the annual meeting of the trustees of the United Israel Appeal (UIA) at the Hyatt Regency Hotel yesterday. “I wish we had more allies like Israel in Central America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia.”
Lautenberg urged his fellow Jews to “stand up for what you believe, be a good Jew.” He told them not to fear the charge of dual loyalty since it is not a legitimate accusation “in this great country of ours.”
He revealed that before he entered the campaign for the Senate last year, he was told that a Jew could never win state-wide office in New Jersey. But he said throughout his campaign, which resulted in his upset victory over former Republican Rep. Millicent Fenwick, there was “not one reference to me as a Jew.”
Lautenberg, a former national chairman of the United Jewish Appeal who has resigned from the UIA board of directors, admitted that he misses not being able to be closely involved in Jewish organizations any more. He noted that he went to Israel 60 times in 10 years but has not been able to go there in the last two.
Jerold Hoffberger, the outgoing UIA chairman, who had served for five years, stressed that a major goal should be to bring Jews who have separated themselves from Jewish organizations and institutions, back into the community. “No one can be left out, ” he said, noting that “our cadre is too small.”
Hoffberger said the two major goals of education and aliya are tied together. He said that without greater effort in all aspects of Jewish education, action for aliya will not be successful.
Irwin Field of Los Angeles, a former national chairman and president of the UJA, was elected the new chairman of the UIA.