JERUSALEM (Feb. 12)
The Jewish National Fund will need more money to prepare land for immigrant housing and has only Diaspora Jewry to turn to, JNF World Chairman Moshe Rivlin told members of the South African Zionist Federation on a solidarity visit last week.
He said JNF is doubling its land development work in Galilee and the Negev at the request of Israel’s Housing Ministry and will require $30 million to $40 million above the regular budget.
JNF is currently developing land at 55 sites in Galilee and the Negev, in preparation for building some 70,000 housing units for immigrants.
Rivlin explained that the land reclamation agency is forgoing its revenue from leasing land to the public, because the government has decided to provide land free of charge for new olim.
Diaspora Jewry must be partners, he said, inasmuch as the JNF holds the land in trust for the entire Jewish people.
The South African party visited sites where Iraqi Scud missiles demolished homes. They proceeded to Modi’in to plant trees under this year’s Tu B’Shevat slogan: “Buds in Spite of Scuds.”
The South Africans were assisted in the planting by recent immigrants from the Soviet Union employed in JNF’s afforestation work.
Modi’in, historic home of the Maccabees, is slated to become a town of over 70,000.
Because of the Presidents Day holiday in the United States, the Daily News Bulletin will not be published on Monday, Feb. 18.