Menu JTA Search

Jewish Agency Board Reaffirms the Struggle for Jews in the Ussr, Countries in Distress Will Continue

The Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency opened its meeting here Tuesday with a declaration on behalf of Anatoly Shcharansky, read to him by telephone to Jerusalem by Jerold Hoffberger, Board of Governors chairman, while more than 300 participants at the meeting listened.

The declaration stated: “The Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel reaffirms that the struggle on behalf of all human rights will not cease until religious and civil liberties are extended to all peoples in the Soviet Union and until our brothers and sisters in all countries of distress are allowed to emigrate to Israel and be reunited with the Jewish people.”


Shcharansky, responding, expressed his gratitude for the efforts of the American Jewish community on his behalf. “I am happy to talk to the five star generals’ of world Jewry,” he said to the laughter of the audience. He said he would continue together with American Jews to fight for the freedom of the remaining Prisoners of Zion in the Soviet Union and other Jews who want to emigrate.

The aliya activist and dissident who was released from a Soviet prison and flew to Israel just a week ago, spoke, in addition to Hoffberger, to Leon Dulzin, chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, and to other Board members.

The meeting was the first time the 74-member Board met in the U.S. and the first time their meeting was open to other Jewish leaders from the U.S. and Canada and to the press. More than 200 Jewish leaders from the U.S. and Canada joined the Board members for the two-day meeting.

Topping the agenda is the budget for fiscal year 1986/87 and plans for the annual Jewish Agency Assembly in Jerusalem June 22-26. The projected budget is $381 million, in addition to $48 million for Project Renewal. Other issues on the agenda include rural settlements in Israel under Jewish Agency care and the difficult economic problems they face.