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Solon Favors Grants for Israel Instead of Loans and Credits

March 16, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D. Md.) said this weekend he would support a shift in the U.S. aid program for Israel to grants instead of loans and investment credits. He noted that the Reagan Administration has earmarked $2.2 billion for Israel, the same as this year, more than half the sum in loans.

Sarbanes, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spoke at the 34th biennial convention of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) which ended here today. The more than 650 women attending the four-day convention also heard a plea for increasing the Jewish birth rate and presented the NCJW’s Faith and Humanity Award to Avraham Harman, president of Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Sarbanes stressed that continued United States support for Israel “is not a Jewish concern” but “concern for all people of principle and vision.” During the NCJW’s Foreign Policy session, Sarabanes also criticized the Reagan Administration’s reduction of funds for the resettlement of Soviet Jews in the U.S. as “pennywise….”

At that session, Barbara Leslie, the NCJW’s non-governmental observer at the United Nations, stressed the NCJW’s leadership role in cooperation with the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council in evaluating the U.S. role at the UN. The UN is “not only incapable of making peace and protecting human rights but actually aggravates tensions and defends tyranny, “she charged.


The plea for increasing the Jewish birth rate was made by Dr. Bernard Reisman, an authority on Jewish communal and family life at Brandeis University. In an era of “zero population growth” which requires at least 2.1 percent birthrate to remain stable “the Jewish birth rate stands at 1.6 percent,” Reisman said. He urged Jews to follow the Biblical mandate, “those who are able…be fruitful and multiply.”

The NCJW presented its highest accolade to Harman as it reaffirmed its continued support of education for the disadvantaged by renewing its contract for a second decade with Hebrew University for the operation of the NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education. Harman said that with its 10-year-old Research Institute, the NCJW has “built an edifice more lasting than stone… You built people. You stand for the idea that nobody should be written off.”

The delegates reelected Shirley Leviton, of Hewlett Harbor, Long Island, as the NCJW’s national president for a second two-year term. In her acceptance speech, she said that NCJW offers its members “the opportunity to increase…efforts for self-realization and self-fultillment–as women, as Americans, as Jews, as skilled citizen volunteers and as supporters of Israel.” She reminded the members, “We have never wavered between the progress of ideas and the maintenance of tradition.”

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