75-member Presidents Conference Delegation is in Israel for a Special Four-day Meeting

A 75-member delegation of the Conference of Presidents of Major Ameican Jewish Organizations arrived here today for a special four-day meeting that will focus on relations between Israel and American Jewry, relations between Jerusalem and Washington, Israel’s economic problems, and the situation in the Middle East.

Led by Kenneth Bialkin, chairman of the Presidents Conference, and Yehuda Hellman, executive vice chairman of the Conference, the delegation of presidents of more than 20 national Jewish organizations, accompanied by executive directors and other lay and professional leaders, will hold talks with top government officials, including Premier Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin. They will also meet with the heads of labor and industry and the Knesset Foreign Relations and Security Committee.

This is the third time the Presidents Conference is meeting in Israel since the group was founded 30 years ago. The Conference first met in Israel 12 years ago, shortly after the Yom Kippur War. It met here for the second time a year-and-a-half ago.

A highlight of the present visit will be an open forum, to which the public is invited, on “Israel and American Jewry: Reciprocity and Responsibility.”

The Israelis on the panel will be two former Ambassadors to the United States, Moshe Arens, now a Minister-Without-Portfolio, and Simcha Dinitz, now a member of the Knesset; former Deputy Foreign Minister Yehuda Ben-Meir; and Prof. David Hartman of the Hebrew University.

The American panelists will be three former chairmen of the Conference, Julius Berman, Howard Squadron and Jacob Stein; and Prof. David Sidorsky of Columbia University.

Other highlights of the gathering will include an address by Leon Dulzin, chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, and receptions by President Chaim Herzog and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Pickering in their residences. The delegates will also meet with recently arrived Ethiopian Jewish immigrants.

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