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J. D. C. Announces Change in Its Welfare Program for Aged in Israel

January 21, 1960
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A limited number of aged men and women who arrived in Israel before 1948 will be accepted in the homes and institutions of Malben, the Joint Distribution Committee welfare program on behalf of aged, ill and handicapped newcomers to the Jewish State, it was announced today by Moses A. Leavitt, JDC executive vice-chairman. The change in policy applies only where there is bed space or housing accommodation available. To be admitted, aged persons must be refereed to Malben by governmental agencies, with the government agreeing to reimburse Malben for maintenance costs.

Mr. Leavitt pointed out that the new policy was made possible because of Malben’s success in providing care and assistance for aged men and women who arrived in Israel after 1948. He indicated that the waiting list for Malben care, which only a short time ago numbered several thousand, has been virtually eliminated. He pointed out that JDC’s estimated 1960 budget for its work in Israel, including Malben, totaled more than $11, 500, 000, some 40 percent of the agency’s over-all budget.

Mr. Leavitt halled the new policy as a “notable first step.” “The day is still some distance in the future,” he said, “when all of Israel’s aged can be cared for by Malben or any similar organization. Malben was set up to cope with the massive problems created by the immigration to Israel–along with hundreds of thousands of others–of thousands of aged, ill and physically handicapped men and women.

“We have recognized for some time that this has created certain inequities in Israel, providing as it does, different levels of care for newcomers, as contrasted with ‘old settlers.’ Now that we have begun to solve the problem of providing care for the newcomers, we are happy to cooperate with the Israel Government in providing assistance to Israel’s veteran community.”

A major factor in making bed space available, Mr. Leavitt indicated, was Malben’s now program of extra-mural care for the aged, under which the aged receive housing, cash grants, out-patient care and other services to enable them to live independently in the communities.

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