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Pincus Urges U.S. Jewish Groups Not to Compete with Zionist Movement

January 13, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Aryeh L. Pincus, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, called upon all Jewish organizations today to refrain from competing with the Zionist Organization and, instead, “to find areas of practical work for joint efforts.” He made that statement in a report to the current session of the Zionist Actions Committee, the ruling body between sessions of the World Zionist Congress.

The American Jewish Committee, the B’nai B’rith and “a group of Conservative rabbis” were mentioned by Mr. Pincus in his statement regarding organizations that “sometimes denigrate Zionist work.” “Let us compete in filling the emptiness in Jewish life by positive Jewish consciousness; by curing illiteracy in Hebrew; by protecting Jewish rights and values wherever they may be,” he suggested.

He reported that Israel’s agricultural output, which had been valued at $15,000,000 in 1948, had risen to a value of $400,000,000 in 1963. But in immigration to Israel, there has been a drop in 1965 from the high peak reached in the previous four years. Despite the decrease in immigration, he said, it was nevertheless sizeable and costly. Per capita costs, he reported, had risen “for reasons beyond our control.”

The Jewish Agency, he said, must concentrate more strongly on social and cultural absorption of immigrants which, in turn, would result in a greater influx of immigrants from Western countries. Immigration from the West this year, he declared, is expected to reach between 5,000 and 6,000 newcomers, which would be “lower than the average for the previous four years.”

He reported that, during the last year, committees comprising representatives of the Agency and other Jewish organizations have been established “to cut red tape and duplication, to ease the dealings between immigrants and the Government and Agency officials, and to devise financial assistance schemes.” So far, however, he added, only customs procedures have been streamlined.

The executive chairman said that the Joint Agency-Israel Government Committee faces a vital task in the work with Jews outside Israel. The most vital task ahead, in that area, he declared, involves concentration on intellectuals and other persons in the academic field. “This cannot be done overnight,” he said, “but more and more qualified people from Israel are being sent abroad, while groups from Jewish communities outside Israel are being invited to come here for longer or shorter periods.”

The program of having Jewish students spend more time in Israel, he reported, has drawn 200 young Jews from abroad for a year’s service in Israel. Plans were being worked out with the Hebrew University, he said, for attracting more Jewish students from outside Israel. He concluded his address by stressing “the realities of Jewish life throughout the world.” The Zionist Organization, he said, “must adapt to these realities, which necessitate changes in its structure.”

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