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Concern over Declining Aliya

November 6, 1974
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The World Zionist Organization Executive expressed concern over declining immigration figures at a meeting here yesterday and agreed that the problem would be discussed at length at the Jewish Agency Board of Governors meeting in New York later this month.

Figures provided by Rabbi Mordechai Kirschblum. associate director of the Jewish Agency’s immigration department, showed that 25,578 immigrants arrived in Israel during the period Jan.-Oct. 1974 compared to 39,332 in the same period last year. Arrivals from the Soviet Union accounted for, 26.613 of last year’s olim and 14,817 of the total this year.

Rabbi Kirschblum reported that aliya a was declining from all countries except Great Britain which showed an increase over last year. But plans are going ahead for the absorption of large waves of newcomers expected from the USSR as a result of the U.S.-Soviet understanding in trade and emigration.

An announcement issued after the meeting said that Leon Dulzin, who is acting chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive while Chairman Pinhas Sapir is abroad, reported on his recent fund-raising trip to Europe and South America. “He stressed that the Jews abroad expect much encouragement from Israel,” the announcement said.

Dulzin, who is treasurer of the Jewish Agency, has been quoted in some news reports as predicting tougher fund-raising problems this year and a possible fall-off in the sums raised. Mordechai Bar-On, head of the Agency’s Youth Department, reported that 3500 volunteers had come to Israel since last Jan., and about 30 percent of them expressed their intention to remain. He said the volunteer figure was good considering that only 6500 volunteers came to Israel during and right after the Yom Kippur War.

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