NEW YORK (Oct. 26)
The American Zionist Federation yesterday launched a nationwide campaign to register one million American Jews as members of the American Zionist movement. At the same time, the organization’s 200-member National Board mapped out an intensive informational and educational program to acquaint American Jews with opportunities for aliyah to Israel. The twin efforts were set up at the National Board’s first meeting since the AZF was established six months ago. The two programs will be spearheaded by the local Zionist Federations already functioning in 11 major American cities and the 20 more local groups due to be in operation by March, 1971 when the National Board holds its next meeting. An expanded program of informational activities designed to reach all segments of the American Jewish community and the general public was also drawn up at the AZF’s two-day meeting. Particular emphasis will be placed on expanding informational outlets for news of Zionist Federation activities and on efforts to counter growing anti-Israel and anti-Zionist propaganda from the “Palestinians” and New Left groups in the United States.
Local drives will be directed toward Jews in newer and smaller communities, people who have visited Israel or studied there, members of synagogues and fraternal orders and chapters of non-Zionist Jewish organizations. Many synagogues, fraternal orders and non-Zionist Jewish groups have already affiliated with the AZF on a “corporate” or group basis. A special effort will be made to enroll youth, student and academic leaders aimed at extending and strengthening Zionist Movements’ ties with the student, youth and academic communities. The nationwide membership drive has the twin purposes of demonstrating the American Jewish community’s support for Israel and Zionism, and the harnessing of the strength of the American Jewish community in the educational, communal, youth and Aliyah work of the AZF. The AZF’s aliyah effort will center on conducting aliyah conferences during the next six months in the 31 cities where local Zionist Federations will be in operation. This organization’s Aliyah Committee is sponsoring these conferences together with the Association of Americans and Canadians for Aliyah. In many communities the local Jewish Federation and the Board of Rabbis will co-sponsor the Aliyah Conference.