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New York U.J.A. Honors Ben-Gurion; Announces $10,000,000 in Gifts

March 14, 1967
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

More than $10,000,000 in giving was announced here tonight by the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York at a dinner formally launching its 1967 campaign with David Ben-Gurion as honored guest. About 1,200 leading contributors to the UJA attended the dinner, at which Mr. Ben-Gurion was presented with the Herbert H. Lehman Memorial Award for his "prophetic vision" and leadership.

Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller made the formal presentation to Israel’s former Prime Minister of the medallion which symbolized the New York Jewish community’s tribute to Mr. Ben-Gurion at the age of 80. Presiding over the dinner was Charles Mayer, chairman of the trustees of the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York.

Mr. Ben-Gurion made a plea on behalf of one group of those overseas depending on the help of UJA-supported agencies — the immigrants who come to Israel from backward lands "without skills, without knowledge of life in the Twentieth Century and without education." Immigrants from North Africa and Asia are the equal of any of Israel’s citizens, when they are given the opportunity to develop their potential, he said. "Hundreds of thousands of them have already taken their places as full participants in Israel’s modern, rapidly industrializing, democratic society," he stressed.

There must be a great expansion and intensification of educational and cultural programs, social services and economic assistance to enable these immigrants and their children to achieve full citizenship in Israel, Mr. Ben-Gurion stated. Other speakers at the dinner included Jack D. Weiler, honorary chairman of New York UJA trustees; Charles C. Bassine, a co-chairman of its board of directors; and Mrs. Burt J. Siris, chairman of its speakers bureau.

The inaugural dinner was also an occasion for honoring the five general chairmen of the 1966 New York UJA campaign — Andrew Goodman, Morris L. Levinson, Gustave L. Levy, Albert Parker and Chester H. Roth, in recognition of their "outstanding leadership in saving Jewish lives."


Two old friends — former President Harry S. Truman and David Ben-Gurion –were reunited by long-distance telephone today. Mr. Ben-Gurion who had placed his call earlier in the day, received the call during a meeting with 75 members of Mahal, an organization of Americans who fought as volunteers in the Israel army during the War of Independence.

"I couldn’t leave the United States," Mr. Ben-Gurion told President Truman, "without expressing the gratitude that our people and Jews throughout the world feel for what you have done to help establish the Jewish State. Our heart is with you and I know yours is with us. You have become an immortal in our country." Mr. Ben-Gurion closed with a "Shanim Rabot" — may you have many years — and with "Shalom."

Returning to the meeting, he explained to the Israel war veterans that Mr. Truman did more for Israel than any other man, noting that Mr. Truman was the first head of state to recognize Israel and made possible Israel’s first grant-in-aid, which amounted to $100,000,000. The veterans group is composed of 500 members in the United States and Canada, 5 percent of whom are Christian. Reuben E. Gross, a Staten Island lawyer, who served in the Israel Air Force, is national commander.

Earlier in the day Mr. Ben-Gurion addressed an audience of 300 students and faculty members at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and appealed to them to encourage American Jewish youth and Jewish scientists to spend at least some part of their careers studying and working in Israel.

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