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July 4, 1980     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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July 4, 1980
 

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Page 4, HERITAGE. Florida Jewish News. July 4. 1980 1 American Jewish Press Hears the Words of VIPs At the American Jewish Press Association meeUngs in Washington last month, in addition to our conversations with President Carter and Ronald Reagan, we had an opportunity to hear and question many VIPs wielding diversified influences on our Jewish future, both here in the U.S. and around the world. Here are some of the highlights: SEN. JACOB JAV[TZ (R., N.Y.), when asked if he had found any anti-Semitism in American politics, replied, "I would be naive to say 'no,' but without proof it would be foolish to say 'yes.' You'd really have to be an infant from Mars to believe it isn't happening." But being a Jewish senator, he said, accomplishes two things: makes him "perform to the hilt and it gives me a clear head to perform with non-Jews." Sen. Javitz optimistically believes U.S.4J.S.S.R. relations will improve but agrees with the Soviet Jews who want to leave Russia who have told him, "SUck to your guns; don't relent; the only position to take is not to take any of their nonsense." Sen. Javitz said, "There will be a turn of the wheel. There will again be detent There will be a Salt II and IlL and.maybe an Israel-Arab peace." On the question of settlements on the West Bank, he said they are not a major factor in the Israel-Arab peace efforts. DAN PATTIR, Israel Prime Minister Begin's personal advisor, was very critical of the American news media for condemning the Israelis for the West Bank car bombings that injured two West Bank mayors. Despite thd absence of any evidence, Pattir noted that Newsweek magazine had already "passed judgement" on the bombings, blaming Israeli terrorists. Time magazine quoted an anonymous State Dept. official who "courageously," said Pattir, hid behind anonymity to say that "Begin has taken actions that are clear incitements to violence." Pattir said about the State Department official's comment, "If that is not incitement to violence, I don't know what is." He also criticized an Oliphant cartoon in the Washington Star, which is owned by Time, Inc., which showed Begin as a "terrorist" with features reminiscent of the stereotyped caricatures of Jews of the '20s and '30s and of Nazi Germany. He described it as "sheer anti-Semitism." MORRIS AMITAY, executive director of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, whom we have respected for years as one of the most lucid and influential individuals in Washington, pointed up the growing change in the makeup of our Congress as far as support and understanding of Jewish issues. So many of our new lawmakers, he said, are now too young to have any memory of the Holocaust and its bearing on a Jewish homeland. He said they must be shown the usefulness of "Israel's strategic importance to the United States." Noting the "tremendous buildup of U.S. arms in the Arab world," Amitay said the total weaponry in Jordan, Iraq and Syria, and the contributions by Libya and Saudi Arabia, mean Israel faces on its Eastern front alone what it met on all fronts in the Yom Kippur war. Amitay, who is leaving AIPAC on Dec. 1 to enter private law practice and Washington, pointed out that the real "i sovereignty is five years,from now" on Bank. "If Israel freezes its policy on he said, "it givesup its right to and the right of Jews to live" on the HERSCHEL BLUMBERG, national chairman of the UJA, reminded us that, newspapers constitute "the forum for Jewish values" and "remind us of our Jewishness." He urged us to support 1981 UJA campaign to raise $635 minimum regular goal. EPHRAIM EVRON, Israel ambassador  U.S., supported Israel's settlement policy said was not started by Begin, but is a continuation of a policy that began a after the Six Day War of 1967. He felt, "the pace of Egyptian ardor has cooled They are not anxious." Sadat, he said, is mistakenly waiting till the U.S. elections decided in November. ROBERT ST. JOHN, world-renowned some 20 books and reporter-observor affinity for Jews and the State of presented the American-Jewish Press Association's Golda Meir award, only person so honored in the press group's history (Sy Kenon of AIPAC was the There were others at the press including B'nai B'rith International Spitzer; Dr. Howard Lenhoff, president, Association for Ethiopian Jews; Yehuda Domminitz, immigration department general of the Jewish Agency; Senator Boschwitz (R., Minn.); and Mark executive director of the Council of Federation's Washington Action office. Their stories will come in future Joint Distribution Committee -- Beginnings to 'Hill' by Boris Smolar (Editor-in-chief emeritus) (Copyright 1980, JTA, Inc.) JDC YomtoV' in Israel: The Joint Distribution Committee which dedicated last weekend in Jerusalem (June 29) its headquarters building for its programs in Israel, has a long history in Palestine and Israel. Its relief work there started while the agency was still in formation. It was in 1914. World War I broke out. The 85,000 Jews who lived in Palestine at that time -- the country was under Turkish rule -- suddenly found themselves in a most critical situaUon. They were cut off from the European Jewish communities, the main source of their support. The belligerent countries stopped their assistance. The U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau St., sent a dramatic cable to Jacob Schiff, the leading American Jewish philanthropist, stating that "Palestinian Jews are facing a terrible crisis" and that "serious destruction threatens thriving colonies." He appealed for $50,000 to be sent urgently by an American "responsible" body in order to prevent a catastrophe. The JDC, which was formally established about a month later, took up the appeal. It rushed the requested $'50,000 which, at that time, was quite a substantial sum. It saved not only the colonies from destruction but also the yeshivot from closing down and esposing their students to literal starvation. The yeshivot -- their number was much smaller than today -- existed entirely on gifts from religious Jewish communities in Europe, which were now involved in the war. (Today, the JDC supports 167 yeshivot in Israel with 27,000 students studying there to fill the needs for rabbis, scribes, mo.halim, shochtim, cantors and religious teachers.) Thus, it is reported in the JDC annals that the first action of the JDC prio r even to its formal founding, was to speed aid to the Jews in Palestine. When World War I was over, JDC helped to establish the Palestine Economic Corporation and engaged in other investment activities to help develop the resources of the country. In the Hitler period, and immediately after World War II, JDC was deeply involved in the rescue and relief activities associated with large-scale movement of Jews from all over the world to Israel. A major expansion of the JDC's role in Israel took place shortly after the establishment of the State. In 1950, JDC, by agreement with the government of Israel, established its Malben institutions in Israel to provide institutional care for the aged, handicapped and chror)ically ill among the immigrant population. This very large responsibility reached a peak in 1953with an expenditure of $11,625,000 for the year. Americans visiting these institutions could only hear "God bless the JDC" from the grateful residents. Today, JDC provides funds and professional guidance for more than 100 different programs and projects in Israel. It-focuses on care for the aged, chronically ill, mentally ill, handicapped children and adults, community centers, development of comprehensive health and welfare services, and manpower training for all these areas. True to its "mission accom- plished" tradition, which provides that institutions be transferred to local communities after they have been established by JDC on solid foundations, JDC has, in recent years, transferred its Malben homes to local communities and agencies in Israel. However, JDC still provides a $800,000 subsidy for the care of the aged in these institutions. "JDC Hill" in Jerusalem: Dudng all the years of its operations in Israel, JDC conducted its work from headquarters in Tel Aviv. The moving now to Jerusalem -- the seat of the Israel government and government agencies with which the JDC staff in Israel is in daily contact . is therefore considered an important event. The Jerusalem municipality; acknowledged its importance by naming the area in which the JDC building is located "JDC Hill" ("Givat Joint"). This expresses also the recognition by the Israel government of the JDC role in Israel. The JDC Hill area adjoins the Hebrew University. JDC enjoys great respect among the top government officials and other Israeli leadership groups as an agency of independence and integrity, uninvolved in political conditions that dominate so much of Israeli life. It is admired for its high standard of service. There is a tremendous reservoir of goodwill also among the people of Israel. They cannot forget the unique contributions that JDC made to the country, especially the absorption of the most difficult segment of the immigration -- the aged and the chronically ill -- at a time when neither the government nor any other instrumentality could deal with that massive problem. Expressions of appreciation and admiration of the JDC work in Israel have been voiced by every President and Prime Minister of the State of Israel, beginning with Dr. Chaim Weizmann and Prime Minister David Ben Gudon. lustrative is the statement made by Golda Meir, when she was Prime Minister. She said: "1 cannot imagine a contribution to Israel that is greater, that is more humane, that has helped more to create us and to form us into a decent society than the JDC programs." JDC has brought to Israel not only financial aid, but also expertise. It brought the most important methods which social service has developed. It played an innovative role in Israel through its programs. It has been a major factor in Israel in influencing the medical care system to give attention to chronic health conditions by helping to increase the number of beds for chronic patients in general hospitals and to develop community services. There is no field in social work in Israel in which JDC did not play a major role through innovations. Working closely with the Israel government, JDC has helped build a structure of health and social service for the entire population of the services and programs country, aged in Israel. *** Another agency which JDC Building is Symbol: The headquarters in the dedication of JDC-Israel head- Israel Association of quarters in Jerusalem is seen by Centers, which now has Donald M. Robinson, JDC president, 100 community centers as a tangible reminder of the the countryfor continuity of JDC commitment to social workers and the quality of life in the State of Israel, for programs. where JDC has spent a quarter of a The offices of the billion dollars since 1914. Trust Ralph Goldman, JDC executive new JDC building, vice president, sees in the new health continues to be headquarters a positive statement of of the JDC in Israel: the centrality of Jerusalem to the funds for the Jewish people. He stresses that comprehensive net because the nature of JDC work community mentalheaith( demands close coordination with serve in areas in need governmental bodies in !srael, the manpower training in moving of the headquarters from Tel centers to serve in Aviv was important since the seat of for manpower training the government is in Jerusalem. health programs. The new JDC building will house The office of the also several agencies closely High Commissioner for associatedwithJDC. One of them is will also be housed in ESHEL, the Association for the building. The Planning and Development of Institute of Gerontology  Services for the Aged, which was Human Development in created by the JDC and Israeli occupy government in 1969 to develop Hill." OSPS 340370 Influencing 2l ,000 Jewish readers each week in the Beach and Space Coast cities of central Florida. Published Florida Jewish News, Inc., 207 O'Brien Rd., Fern Park, Fla. postage paid at Orlando, Fern Park and other mailing offices. Subscriptions: $11.00 per calendar year to Florida addresses the rest of the U.S.) and pro-rated monthly. /ailing Address: P.O. Box 742, Ferr Park, FL 32730. GENE STARN, Editor & Publisher EDITORIAL: Barbara Coenson-Roth, Associate Editor" Gloria Yousha. PRODUCTION: Elaine Starn, Rachel Scott. ADVERTISING: Jim Coltan, Marsha Hyman, Fran MEMBERS: Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Florida Press Association, World  (305) 834-878"/ 834-8277