JERUSALEM (Oct. 19)
Two leaders of the Jewish Agency for Israel expounded on its programs and problems to an audience of Americans here whose institutions provide more than half of its annual budget.
Simcha Dinitz, who chairs the World Zionist Organization-Jewish Agency Executive, and Mendel Kaplan, chairman of the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors, addressed 926 American delegates here Tuesday.
They were participating in the United Jewish Appeal’s 50th anniversary Jubilee Mission to Israel. It is the hope of Dinitz and Kaplan that they will carry the Jewish Agency’s message back to their home communities.
The agency is restructuring and cutting back staff. The government is taking over its immigrant absorption centers, possibly before the end of this month, Dinitz said.
But final approval may be sidetracked by the current election campaign, he said, and political maneuvering to set up a new government.
Kaplan, who took office last year, said he was trying to depoliticize the agency. He hopes to base the funding of various projects on their merit, not political allegiances, he said.
In 1989, the UJA campaign in North America is expected to provide $275 million of the agency’s overall budget of $414 million. Because the budget has been reduced, the UJA will provide two-thirds of the services it gave to the Jewish Agency in 1985.
Kaplan said the spending from the agency’s $430 million budget for fiscal 1988-89 was kept close to the projected spending for the year.