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Israeli Physicists in U.s.a. Form Project to Aid Science in Negev

February 3, 1967
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israeli physicists working in the United States have organized a project to provide housing facilities near the Dimona nuclear facilities in Israel’s Negev for scientists from the United States and other countries, an Israeli official disclosed here today.

Abraham Ben-Zvi, director of the North American branches of the Israel Government Bureau for Israeli professionals, disclosed details of the plan. He said that the idea had been endorsed by Premier Levi Eshkol who promptly assured Israeli Government help for the project.

Mr. Ben-Zvi said that the plan grew out of an effort by his office to persuade Israeli scientists now stationed in the United States to consider returning to Israel to help contribute to Israel’s scientific programs.

After his office sent out invitations to some 50 Israeli scientists in this country, who were known to be planning to attend a physics society conference held here, a group headed by Prof. Gideon Carmi of Yeshiva University and Prof. Aharon Eviatar of Bell Laboratories proposed that a scientific community be built at Arad, a few miles from Dimona.


Mr. Ben-Zvi transmitted the idea to Premier Eshkol, Labor Minister Yigal Alon and Prof. Amos de Shalit, a leading nuclear physicist. Replies were received endorsing the idea, promising help and urging the Israelis to proceed with it. Subsequently, 44 Israeli scientists signed a statement of readiness to back the project.

The project will seek to create a community in Arad which will provide appropriate housing and other facilities where scientists, both Israeli and non-Israeli, can reside while doing pure and applied research with facilities at Dimona. The project also will seek to induce such scientists to seek sabbatical research leaves to be spent in Israel living in Arad and working in Dimona. Arad is now a small town of some 2,000 people, mostly nativeborn Israelis.

Mr. Ben-Zvi said that the scientists, headed by Professors Carmi and Eviatar, will seek to-set up committees in the United States, in cooperation with his office, to raise funds and seek to induce scientists to go to Arad. One hope of the sponsors is that Israeli scientists, now stationed in other countries, may decide to remain in Israel because of the improved housing and working facilities. He said that, since the Israel Government is already committed to providing such facilities, fund-raising will be the lesser of the activities of the projected committees.

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