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Dulzin: Project Renewal Will Be Completed by the End of the Decade

Project Renewal will be completed by the end of the decade, according to Leon Dulzin, chairman of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization Executives. Dulzin told the WZO Executive he expected that the work in 18 of the 200 target neighborhoods would be completed by the end of 1984.

He stressed that the Jewish Agency, which jointly with the government established Project Renewal in a partnership effort with American Jewish communities, must be in the forefront of efforts to find and create new sources of employment in the target neighborhoods. He spoke warmly of the recently-appointed Agency’s director of renewal, Gideon Witkon. (Witkon is the son of the former Supreme Court Justice Alfred Witkon).

In his own detailed review of the state of Project Renewal to date, Witkon noted considerable successes in working with local people for the improvement of their own environments. He said to date the Jewish Agency had spent $400 million on Project Renewal. Some 250 public buildings had been erected — community centers, child-care centers, clubs, and sports centers.

CITES MAJOR PROBLEM AND CHALLENGE

Witkon emphasized that the major problem and challenge was in the area of economic development and job creation. “Social development and the evolution of social leadership and economic leadership will only lead to a denuding of the neighborhoods of the their best population unless suitable employment opportunities are created, ” Witkon warned.

Jewish Agency treasurer Akiva Levinsky urged that the Agency begin to look ahead to the time when Project Renewal’s work in the neighborhoods is completed and the Project begins to end. “We must be sure that there is continuity and follow-through after we complete our programs,” he said.

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