TIBERIAS (Mar. 11)
Charlotte Jacobson, president of the Jewish National Fund of America, has expressed concern over the future of Galilee which she sees as underpopulated and short of development funds.
Jacobson, who is in Israel for the 59th National Assembly of the JNF, attended by 300 delegates, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that American Jews are not sufficiently aware of the development needs of Galilee because there is not enough direct contact between them and this part of the country and the people who live here.
She spoke to the JTA while on a tour of Galilee and the Golan Heights. The JNF is engaged in several projects in northern Israel. Apart from its traditional afforestation and land reclamation work, it is creating public recreational areas which will serve as tourist attractions. One is planned near Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Jacobson said one of the challenges facing the JNF is to strengthen the “mitzpim”, the hill-top outposts being built in the region as the nucleus of future full-fledged settlements. The project was begun eight years ago and, according to Jacobson, it has suffered from lack of funds and the region, consequently, is under-populated. “We have a feeling that people want to come to those settlements but there are not enough facilities, ” Jacobson said.