24 Friday, May 8, 1981
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Effort to Find 'Abandoned' Jewish Elderly Begun in NY
By BEN GALLOB
(Copyright 1981, JTA, Inc.)
NEW YORK — Some 30
years ago, the Brownsville
section of Brooklyn was a
thriving pulsating center of
life for some 250,000 Jews.
Now, in sagging, rat-
infested apartment build-
ings scattered through a
scene reminiscent of the
desolation of the South
Bronx, a handful of aged
Jews somehow manage to
stay alive behind barred
Just how many is uncer-
tain, according to some real
experts on Brownsville —
volunteer Jews who make
persistent effort to find
those abandoned Jews and
to help them. Their vehicle
is a modest operation called
"Hatzilu" (Hebrew for re-
scue), started some four
Norman Zimmerman of
Plainview is Hatzilu's
Eric Alabaster, 26, heads
the Halitzu storefront on
Alabaster, who has an
associate degree in music
from Maine University, is
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(ZINS) — At the dedication
of a flower packing plant at
this West Bank town, Israel
Agriculture Minister Ariel
Sharon told the audience,
"We are here and.we will
always be here."
He said Israel must
ensure the economies of its
West Bank settlements.
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Hatzilu works with other
Jewish service agencies
when problems develop
which are beyond the abil-
ity of the Hatzilu volunteers
to handle. He mentioned the
Jewish Association for the
Aged (JASA), an agency of
the New York Federation of
Alabaster added there
is a constant search for
elderly Jews and when
Hatzilu finds an aged
Jew who cannot come to
the storefront, a Hatzilu
volunteer will go to him
or her. Alabaster also
makes visits to the el-
When Alabaster is not on
duty, volunteers man the
storefront. He said that on
Fridays, Jews come to get
loaves of halla. The storef-
ront also has a variety of
foods to be given to the
needy visitors. He said a
volunteer named Moshe
Sachs directs the Hatzilu
work at the Intervale center
in South Bronx, a place to
pray — the only synagogue
left in the south Bronx —
and also a place for elderly
Jews to socialize.
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certain design items and Bruce
hardwood floors.No freight
the only paid member of
the Hatzilu group. He
tries to find the aban-
doned elderly Jews in the
buildings still standing in
Zimmerman said a key
Hatzilu goal is to re-locate
the aged Jews to safer areas.
Reg. Retail $46.35
$ 3 7 08
. . . and Me'
(Copyright 1981, JTA, Inc.)
"JEWISH NATIONAL FUND" AT 80: Who of the
older generation of Jewish immigrants from Europe does
not remember the blue-white "pushkes" of the Jewish Na-
tional Fund? They were in every Jewish home in every city
and shtetl. Mothers used to put coins into them every Fri-
day before blessing the Sabbath candles.
From the small coins in these boxes the Jewish Na-
tional Fund — which is now celebrating 80 years of exist
ence — grew to become a colossal instrument in building
Palestine as a Jewish homeland, and in developing the
state of Israel now.
With funds raised in copper coins in its Blue-White
boxes, the JNF acquired stretches of land in Palestine,
drained swamps and marshes and transformed them into
fertile farmland, planted millions of trees on sandy earth
and stony hills, helped to establish kibutzim and other
settlements on JNF land, developed the Emek Jezreel and
other valleys, and started the Balfour Forest — its first
major afforestation venture.
The JNF functions on the principle that the land it
acquires is the property of the Jewish nation. The soil is
being "redeemed" for national ownership and is never for
sale. It is given only in hereditary leasehold for 49 years,
after which the lease must be renewed even by nationally-
recognized major institutions. The land must always re-
main national property. This was decided at the Fifth
World Zionist Congress held in Basel, Switzerland, in 1901.
Operating under this principle, the JNF has during the
80 years of its existence also assisted in developing sections
of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. It is now working vigor-
ously on developing the western part of the Negev to make
desert land habitable for Israelis who must move from the
Sinai under the Israel-Egyptian Camp David agreement
returning Sinai to Egypt. The JNF is moving the sand and
bringing in millions of cubic meters of topsoil, shifting the
paths of the wadis and ravines, and is generally recon-
structing the area to make it fit for successful agriculture.
By the time the work will be completed, the JNF will
also have planted there many thousands of trees. It will
even create an artificial lake. Similar work is also being
done by JNF in Arad, a region historically considered to-
tally unfit for habitation and cultivation because of its
JNF AS TRUSTEE FOR ARABS: The Jewish Na-
tional Fund is also playing an important role in acquiring
land abandoned by Arabs in Palestine when they rushed
out of the country after the birth of the state of Israel.
Arab propagandists argue that Israel seized the land of
the Palestine Arabs. This is not true. The truth is that their
abandoned soil is fully registered with the JNF. Because
they left the soil uncultivated and without ownership, the
JNF has bought it and the money is kept "in trust" for the
owners. Many of the Palestine Arabs are now well estab-
lished in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and other oil-producing coun-
tries, while others are still in refugee camps because the
Arabs don't want to absorb them, preferring to let them
stay in refugee camps as "victims" of Israel.
There will come a time when Israel and the Arab coun-
tries will establish how much property was taken over by
Israel from Palestine Arabs and how much Jewish property
was confiscated in the Arab countries, especially in Iraq,
Egypt, Syria and Yemen. A balance will be drawn and the
Palestine Arabs will receive the money held for them "in
trust," if the Jews of the Arab countries will receive restitu-
tion for the property taken away from them by Arab gov-
In the meantime, the land abandoned by the Arabs in
Israel has been developed. Fields have been cultivated,
modern apartments have been built on some of the land, as
well as large hotels, high-rise office buildings, and indus-
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Mon., Tues., Wed., Fri., Sat. 10-6; Thurs. 10-9
JDC Will Cite Boris Smola/
NEW YORK — The JDC is establishing an an-
semi-annual meeting of the nual award "giving recogni-
American Jewish Joint Dis- tion to the Jewish student
tribution Committee in whose published article has
New York next week will most served to foster under-
honor Boris Smolar, colum- standing of the needs of
nist and editor emeritus of overseas Jewry among the
the Jewish Telegraphic American public."
Agency. Smolar served on
It is with narrow souled
the staff of the JDC while a
young man in Poland and people as with narrow
helped JDC establish a necked bottles; the less they
summer camp for sick chil- have in them, the more
dren in 1920.
noise they make in pouring
In honor of Smolar, the it out.