$18,150,000 in Israel Bonds Sold at Conference Launching 1962 Drive
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$18,150,000 in Israel Bonds Sold at Conference Launching 1962 Drive

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Israel bonds totaling $18,150,000 were sold here today at the conclusion of the three-day national Inaugural Conference for Israel bonds which was attended by more than 2,000 delegates from all parts of the country. The bonds were bought in honor of the 70th birthday of Eddie Cantor who has been active in securing financial aid for Israel since the establishment of the State.

The conference marked the opening of the drive to raise $66,500, 000 in Israel bonds during 1962 to finance the development of the Negev and to create Jobs and homes for the large number of immigrants now entering Israel. In reporting today’s initial sale, Samuel Rothberg, national campaign chairman, announced that Benjamin H. Swig of San Francisco, outstanding communal leader, has purchased $250, 000 in bonds in honor of Eddie Cantor.

Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, vice-president of the Israel Bond Organization, announced the establishment of honor groups of Israel bond buyers in connection with Israel’s drive to develop the Negev. "In the Trustee class, " he said, "which normally represents an Israel bond purchase of $10, 000, the Negev Trustee has been designated as a purchaser of $15, 000 or more. There has also been an understanding of the special problem of housing for immigrants, which costs$4,500 for one family. Many people have already enrolled as Negev Builders of Israel by purchasing $4,500 or more in Israel bonds. In the categories of Guardians (men) and Sponsors (women), large numbers are enrolling at the Negev level of $1,500."

Dr. Schwartz stressed the centrality of the development of the Negev to Israel’s future and pointed out that Israel bonds are the only source of funds for the pioneering development of this area. "Other sources of capital," he said, "are not available to provide the underlying economic structure of the Negev. This includes housing, water supply, roads, railways and all the other elements which are essential to economic growth, but are not in themselves immediately profitable enterprises. Israel bonds must help create this economic foundation before other types of capital can be attracted to the area."


Ambassador Michael Comay, head of the Israel delegation to the United Nations, addressing the conference, said that "the success of Israel’s intensive development is revolutionizing its position in the world. " He cited the ties of friendship and cooperation between Israel and these new states in Asia and Africa; "This friendship between Israel and these new states, " he declared, "must in due course have an impact on Israel-Arab relations as well. The ‘new image’ of Israel at the United Nations and in the world is derived from what Israel has achieved at home with the help of the financial support of the American Jewish community."

Mr. Comay drew attention to the great challenge facing Israel in settling the Negev. "With new farming techniques, planned industrial towns, the exploitation of minerals, the distilling of fresh water from the sea, and the harnessing of atomic and solar energy, " he said, "the desert can be conquered in the next decade, and the habitable area of Israel doubled. This dazzling challenge will need great financial resources, and there is unlimited creative scope for the Ioan funds raised through the Israel bond drive."

Eric A. Johnston, president of the Motion Picture Association of America, told the delegates that the economic and democratic growth of Israel had proven to the underdeveloped countries that they could achieve progress "without compromising the principles of liberty and the rights of the individual. " Mr. Johnston is the author of the plan for using the waters of the Jordan River for the irrigation of arid areas, including the Negev.


Abraham Feinberg, president of the Israel Bond Organization, told the conference that Israel must now adjust her economy to the new conditions created by the formation of the European Economic Community. "There is a real possibility," he said, "that Israel will need to tighten its belt economically during the coming months, To help her pass through.

this critical period without undue difficulty, an increased flow of Israel bond dollars is of decisive importance."

Louis H. Boyar, of Los Angeles, national chairman of the conference, drew attention to the fact that "the bulk of Israel bonds proceeds remained in the United States to pay for the machinery, the raw material, the food products and the services which the people of Israel need to continue with their economic growth."

Mr. Boyar said that from 1951, when the first Israel bond issue was floated, through last year, $535, 000, 000 in Israel bonds had been purchased in the United States. In that period, the said, Israel spent $1, 600, 000, 000 in this country for imports of goods and services while Israel’s exports to the United States amounted to approximately $425, 000, 000.

Max Bressler, president of the Zionist Organization of America and national chairman of Guardians of the Israel bond drive, emphasized that there can be no future for Israel’s economic growth without the development of the Negev. "But this enterprise," he said, "calls for a renewal of our devotion and a new sense of pioneering effort." Mr. Bressler called upon the membership of the Zionist Organization of America to enroll as "a vanguard of support" for the Israel bond campaign.

Cables of congratulations to Mr. Cantor were received from Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Finance Minister Levi Eshkol of the State of Israel. A special award, consisting of a plaque on which was mounted a unique silver Torah breast plate with the symbols of the twelve Tribes of Israel, was given to Mr. Cantor.

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