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November 13, 1970 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1970-11-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Army Colonel Takes Command of Campaign
to Woo U.S. Jews to Israel; Cites Align Rise

By CHARLOTTE DUBIN

At 52, Col. Nahum Golan hasn't
lost a battle yet, and he's not
about to start. Especially in a
civilian job, entrusted with what
he considers the number one
priority for Israel: aliya.

With a military career going
back to the Hagana and inclu g
the founding of the famous lani
Brigade in the War of Ind end-
ence and the commanding o the
Syrian front in the Sinai am-
paign, Col. Golan could well af-
ford to sit back and tell war
stories, or farm apples, on the
kibutz he helped found, Mar
Szold.
But Golan, in his own words,
likes to be "on the forward
front," so he accepted his gov-
ernment's assignment last year
to direct the Israel Aliya Center
in the U.S. and Canada.
He's mapped the field of opera-
tions with the precision of an
army man and has projected big
goals for American Jewry, who
already have doubled their num-
bers of immigrants to Israel in
three years.
Golan was in Detroit this week
to promote aliya among a cross-
section of Jewish leadership and
to encourage their participation in
an Aliya Conference here in
February.
Aliya, the traditional word for
ascent into Israel, is, literally, on
the ascendancy, judging by the
figures Golan quotes. In 1968,
4,300 North Americans emigrated
to Israel; in '69, there were 6,500;
and in 1970, more than 8,000.
Prior to the Six-Day War, the
average annual figure was 1,200.
For the first time, they com-
prise the largest group (20 per
cent) of "olim," immigrants, in
Israel.
Determined to top that figure,
Golan is planning to add another
two regional aliya centers to the
dozen already operating through-
out the United States and Canada.
Detroit. which has no center of
its own but which saw 120 resi-
dents make aliya in a brief, eight-
month span, is not designated for
an office next year, "but it won't
take long," he added.
Until then, potential emigrants
are assisted by the Jewish Cen-
ter's Hebrew department, which
puts them in contact with the
Aliya center in Cleveland.
Golan said he is impressed
with the quality of American
Jew that is seeking to emigrate.
"Perhaps they realize," he said,
"that life is more than two cars
and a house in the suburbs.
They are seeking a Jewish en-

132-Year-Old Cemetery
Rededicated in Venezuela

MARACAIBO, Venezuela (JTA)
—A 132-year-old Jewish cemetery,
one of the oldest on the South Am-
erican continent, recently was re-
dedicated at Coro near here after
restoration by the government
with funds provided by the Seph-
ardic community.
The ceremonies were attended
by Dr. Jose Curie!, minister of
public works, who is himself of
Jewish origin. Dr. Curiel is a des-
cendant of Joseph Curie!, a Jew
from Curacao, N.W.I. who was a
friend of Gen. Simon Bolivar, the
national hero who liberated Vene-
zuela from Spanish rule.
The land for the cemetery was
purchased by Joseph Curie! in
1838 after his daughter died of
typhus. The Jewish community
that he founded at Coro survived
for 80 years, but disappeared as a
result of its Isolation and intermar-
riage. The burial ground has been
declared a national monument.

4ter
-70

s

NAHUM GOLAN

vironment for themselves and
their children."
Compared to olim before the
Six-Day War, they are younger
(age 24 -36) and better educated.
Many are unaffiliated with any
Jewish, much less Zionist, organ-
ization. Although the largest num-
ber come from the 10 most popu-
lous cities, running a close second
are ohm from cities of 1,000 Jews
oi• less—cities like Chattanooga,
Tenn., and others in the South.
Why the sudden spurt? The
motivations are many, including
that, expressed by some observers,
of fear. Social conditions in the
United States have been far from
perfect, and Jews are among the
first to feel the shock waves. A
touchy school situation, or a glut
on the job market; could be why
teachers represented the largest
grouping among 882 Americans
who made aliya in September.
But, in promoting aliya, Golan
prefers to emphasize the positive
motivations. He suggests that,
were the new ohm simply leaving
a bad situation, they could more
easily emigrate to Canada, or to
Australia.
"They haven't chosen Israel by
accident; there is a definite at-
traction," he said. "You take the
average engineer in the United
States. He's a small screw in a
tremendous apparatus. In Israel,
he finds himself. We have had
tremendous development in engi-
neering."
What professions are repre-
sented in the Influx? Among the
882 olim in September, there
were c o m pute r programers,
nurses, rabbis, journalists, phys-
icists and doctors, as well as
engineers and academicians.
To the engineer, the doctor and
the social worker, Golan says,
Come now. We'll find a place for
you. To the lawyer, he concedes,
his counsel is tempered. The at-
torney with time and capital can
learn the Israeli law and pass
the required exams. Most, how-
ever, are cautioned to seek out
another skill, a profession or busi-
ness in which they can start a new
life in Israel.
Golan is not snubbing the semi-
skilled and unskilled laborer,
either.
In that September group, along
with the secretaries and the busi-
nessmen, were a masseuse, two
pilots, a waitress, a watchmaker,
a chef and a stockbroker. Even
a travel agent. No one, Golan said,
is turned down. "The main pro-
fession we are seeking is Jews,"
he said.
Forty-one university students
also made the crossing, having ex-
pressed the intention to remain
in Israel for a year or longer.
Golan has not forgotten the post-
Six-Day War drug fallout that
descended with the horde of young
American volunteers. But he is
optimistic that Israel can handle
"the problem."
"American students do bring
some problems," he said care-
fully, "but we won't stop them
from coming." In the Israeli en-
vironment, he said, "they will
change." Students, like all other
olim, first must go through a
medical checkup before leaving
for Israel, he added.

To woo American Jews, the modate such a population? Golan
Israel government is offering at- smiled. "You send the people. We
tractive enticements. There is no have plenty of room."
customs duty on household items
• • •
brought into the country; the im-
migrant is provided with hous- Aliya Group Claims
ing and Hebrew lessons for the 2,000 Immigrants
first six months, if he needs them;
his children are entitled to three Settled in 3 Months
yfflars of high school without
NEW YORK—More than 2,000
charge, a benefit denied to natives new immigrants, members of the
who get only the first year free. Association of Americans and Can-
At one time, the American im- adians for Aliya, successfully set-
migrant could get tied up in red tled in Israel during August, Sep-
tape that would reach to Israel tember and October.
and back. His was a lonely battle,
The statistics were presented at
with little comfort from the Jew- the national executive committee
ish Agency.
meeting of the association, by Mrs.
Today, he is carefully guided on Olga Rachmilevitch, executive di-
his way—from his initial inquiry rector.
at an Israel aliya center until his
The immigrants include doctors,
arrival at the absorption center in la w y e r s, engineers, teachers,
chemists and social workers.
Israel.
During the same period, mem-
The grassroots movement, Amer-
icans and Canadians for Aliya, also bership in the organization has in-
has smoothed the way for its mem- creased from 2,000 member units
bers, all of whom are committed to almost 4,000 units, she said.
According to a separate report
to make aliya within three years
by David Berezin, national field
of joining.
director, "We expect member.
During that period, the potential
emigrant is assisted in finding a
ship to increase to over 10,000 by
job, an apartment, a school for his
the end of 1971, and with this tre-
children. He also can use the time
mendous upsurge in aliya, we
to acquire the language. Knowing
have expanded the services pro-
that others share in the experience
vided to potential immigrants."
can strengthen the emigrant's own
The organization is the only
resolve.
"grass roots" national aliya move-
The current Detroit chairman, ment to facilitate the settling of
Paul Stark, is planning to lead a Americans and Canadians in Is-
group of local olim.
rael.
What it all adds up to is an
The association provides advice
army of American Jews, who, in and counsel on living in Israel; as-
seeking a meaningful Jewish life. sistance in obtaining employment
can add an important ingredient to and adequate housing; and coordin-
the Israeli population, nearing the ation of contacts between member
3,000,000 mark.
groups and visiting Israeli employ.
If there were 4,000,000 Jews in er representatives. The group is
Israel today, the colonel mused, headquartered at 515 Park Ave.,
the Middle East picture would be New York, and can be reached in
much brighter. Can Israel accom- Detroit through the Jewish Center. I

1111 111113111711119111 NEWS
20--1,Nday, linvallaw 13.1919

More Jewish Draftees
Getting CO Status

NEW YORK (JTA)—The Jewish
Peace Fellowship, which provides
draft counseling to Jewish youth,
has reported a "dramatic in-

crease" in the number of Jewish
conscientious objectors who ob-
tained alternative service clas-
sifications from their draft boards.
In its current newsletter, the
JPF said that in November 1968,
it knew of 38 Jewish draftees who
were accepted by their draft
boards as conscientious objectors
and assigned to "national service
under civilian direction," as pro-
vided under the Selective Service
law.
By September 1969, the JPF
said, there were 51, and by Jan-
uary 1970, the total of COs had
risen to 73. The JPF said it was
"reasonable to assume that there
are by now—September 1970—well
over 100 Jewish COs" in such
alternative service.

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