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Jewish Agency Taking Steps Toward Implementing Dichter Report

October 2, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Steps towards implementing the 280-page report of Dr. Ernest Dichter on the workings of the Jewish Agency for Israel, particularly in the field of aliya from the United States, are already being taken, even as the report is being studied further by top Agency staff members, according to Louis A, Pincus, Jewish Agency chairman.

“We have already begun to install social workers in immigrant absorption centers, as Dr. Dichter suggested,” Mr. Pincus said, “and we are taking steps to better prepare our shlichim (emissaries) before they assume their duties in the Israel Aliya Center in the United States.”

Pincus, who originally authorized the report by the American deep motivation expert, said that “its cost, $24,000, was money well spent. There never was any truth in the rumors that the report was being shelved because of its criticism of some aspects of the Agency’s work. I personally found it both interesting and valuable; so much so that I suggested that Dr. Dichter supplement it with concrete suggestions as to how the Agency’s work could be improved, and this he has already done.”

The report, the full text of which has still not been released, was prepared with the active participation and assistance of Nahum Golan, for almost three years director of the Agency’s aliya activities in the United States, and he is now working with Uzi Narkiss, director of the aliya department in Israel, in developing techniques to implement the Dichter suggestions.

Pincus explained that the “basic technique of the Dichter report was to analyze the psychology of American Jewry, particularly as it was addressed to the subject of immigration to Israel. In the process, he studied the aliya department’s policies and procedures in the United States, and the reactions of newcomers from America to Israel. He sought to outline techniques for dealing with adverse reactions on the part of American olim and to suggest the best ways of preventing such unfavorable reactions as exist, as well as develop the programs that would prevent these problems from arising in the future.”

Pincus pointed out that the transplanting of a family from the United States, or any country, to Israel involves emotional adjustments. “Therefore,” he said, “some criticism of the aliya process is inevitable. Mr. Dichter’s suggestions were that a training program for the Agency’s emissaries in the United States, which while not qualifying them as psychologists, would at least make them aware of the problems in dealing with prospective immigrants. In installing social workers in immigrant absorption centers, we have done so not because the newcomers are social cases, but because a social worker is qualified to deal with various emotional and domestic problems, as well as those of transplantation and others as they arise.”

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