Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Agreement Reached to Work out Means for Implementing Project Renewal

January 29, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The government and the Jewish Agency have agreed that a joint government-Agency committee should be formed to work out the means for implementing Project Renewal, the long-range plan for rehabilitation 160 slum areas around the country.

The Cabinet formally approved this agreement today by ratifying the policy document on Project Renewal drown up by Deputy Premier Yigael Yodi and Jerold Hoffberger, chairman at the United Israel Appeal, the organization which appropriates funds received from the United Jewish Appeal for specific programs in Israel.

Officials now hope that the organizational difficulties holding up-Project Renewal will be ironed out and that projects can now start on the first slum areas slated for improvement. The difficulties had arisen aver a demand by Absorption Minister David Levy, who was recently given the added portfolio of the Housing and Construction Ministry, that the Housing Ministry handle the entire Project Renewal and that the Jewish Agency and the fund-raising organizations abroad confine ###selves to gathering half of the money needed for Project Renewal.But the UJA and the Jewish Agency had insisted that the Agency participate in the implementation of the program, including the use of foreign Jewish experts. Yadin, in outlining the project to Diaspora Jews, had stressed that he wanted their knowledge and participation, not just money.


The Cabinet decision followed a meeting Friday between the government, the Jewish Agency and UJA representatives at Premier Menachem Begin’s office, at which the Yadin-Hoffberger document was approved.

The Cabinet decision today said that the interdepartmental committee set up by the government and the Jewish Agency which is responsible for formulating police for Project Renewal will appoint a subcommittee of the directors-general of the relevant government and Agency departments.

The Cabinet decision also said that the hands of the joint government-Jewish Agency committee will be-Yadin and Leon Dulzin, chairman of the Agency and the World Zionist Organization Executives. Each may appoint representatives for specific sessions of the committee to coordinate matters that are under their exclusive jurisdiction. Each may also appoint a deputy. Dulzin has appointed Eliezer Raphaeli to serve as his deputy. Raphaeli was earlier appointed by the Jewish Agency as director general of Project Renewal.

Also, according to the Cabinet, the sub-committee shall be responsible for: development of general plans for renewal and earmarking the districts that are to be renewed; recommendations to the interdepartmental committee regarding the general plans and implementation of these plans after they have been approved by the committee.

According to reports last Friday, it was agreed that the Housing Ministry would be confined to building new homes in the rehabilitated areas while the Agency would build such community institutions as schools and synagogues as well as supply the social workers needed to help the 45,000 families living in the areas slated for renewal.

The Cabinet today also appointed its own Committee of Ministers for the project. The committee, headed by Yadin, includes Levy, Finance Minister Simcha Ehrrich, Social Betterment Minister Yisrael Katz, Education Minister Zevulun Hammer and Interior Minister Yosef Burg.


Cabinet Secretary Arye Naor told reporters that today’s decision was approved by a 6-4 vote with four other Ministers not participating. Among those approving the Yadin-Hoffberger document were Begin, Yadin and Ehrlich with Levy leading the opposition. Naor said those opposed felt that the sole responsibility for Project Renewal, first proposed by Begin in 1977, should be in the hands of the government. The majority felt the project could benefit from an input from the diaspora through the Jewish Agency.

Dulzin told a press conference earlier today that the project will succeed it there is full cooperation between the government and the Jewish Agency. If we don’t conclude the work in five years, we shall do it in six or seven years. Dulzin insisted that once the work begins there will be no overlapping between the tasks done by the Agency and the government.

Recommended from JTA