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October 09, 1981 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-10-09

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Youngest Knesset Member
Credits Youth Aliya Program

By WENDY ELLIMAN
ISRAEL — At 32, Meir
Shitrit is the youngest
member of Israel's newly
elected 10th Knesset. Only
24 when he became mayor
of Yavneh, he was Israel's
youngest-ever municipal
leader.
He was also the youngest
in his graduating year at
Bar Ilan University and the
youngest matriculating
student in his high school
class.
For all of This Shitrit cre-
dits the Youth Aliya village
of Kfar Batya. "It marked
the turning point of my
life," he said.
Born in Morocco, the
youngest of a large and
impoverished family,
Shitrit arrived in Israel in
1957 when he was 8 years
old.
By the time he was 12,
Shitrit was paying for his
schooling by working in the
nearby citrus groves. The
Youth Aliya scholarship to
Kfar Batya was a "dream-
come-true" — until the day
he arrived at the village and
the principal informed him
that dormitory fees were not
covered by the scholarship.
"I had no money at all,"
says Shitrit. "It seemed that
everything was'over before
it had even begun. Then the
principal suddenly said:
'Perhaps you could work on
the farm here in Kfar Batya
during the school holidays.
That would meet the fees."'
Shitrit graduated from
high school at the age of 16
with grades which won him
a scholarship in biochemis-
try and microbiology at
Bar-Ilan University. "But
without any income, a uni-
versity education was a
luxury I couldn't afford," he
recalls. "Then Kfar Batya
came to the rescue again: I
was allowed to live on in the
village, and they paid me a
small salary for working in
Kfar Batya's library during
the holidays. With accom-
modations and pocket
money, I was able to study."
He ran successfully for
mayor of Yavneh in 1974
and was returned for a sec-

Court Postpones
Hatziera Case

JERUSALEM (JTA) —
Aharon Abu-Hatzeira, a
member of Premier
Menahem Begin's coalition
government, will not stand
trial for embezzlement until
the Supreme Court deter-
mines whether the action of
the ninth Knesset lifting his
immunity is binding on the
10th Knesset to which he
was elected last June. The
high court ordered post-
ponement of the trial which
was to have opened in a Tel
Aviv district court late last

month.

Named to Post

NEW YORK — Ralph I.
Goldman of New York has
been named president of the
board of directors of the In-
ternational Conference of
Jewish Communal Service.

and term in 1978, when he
won 85 percent of the total
vote.
Shitrit sees no conflict
in remaining mayor of
Yavneh while a member
of Knesset. "In fact, the
two jobs are complemen-
tary," he says. "Both are
public service jobs, and I
see that service in terms
of dealing with Israel's
foremost priority."
That priority, says Shit-
rit, is education and it takes
precedence even over de-
fense. "What has really kept
Israel strong?" he asks.
"Not her territories, nor her
arms, her army or money —
none of this could have
saved us if the people of Is-
rael had not been of the
caliber that they are. Our
strength is the quality of
our people — and if we lose
that, we lose Israel."
Shitrit hopes that as a

Friday, Mier 9, 1991

Student Contest for Journalism

member of Knesset he can
organized a non-partisan
lobby on social and
economic issues, to press for
the kind of 'legislation
which he sees as so vital to
Israel's future.
"I believe in Jewish
genius," he says, "but even
genius needs help." One
way to help Jewish genius,
he says, is the Youth Aliya
way. He would like to see
more Youth Aliya schools
and villages built in Israel,
and more children given the
kind of opportunity that he
had. He was deeply dis-
turbed when cuts were
proposed in the Youth Aliya
budget — and still dissatis-
fied even when they were
restored. "The Jewish
Agency should increase its
Youth Aliya budget," he
says. "It's the most impor-
tant sector of the Agency's
work."

NEW YORK -- Jewish
students have been invited
by the American Jewish
Joint Distribution Commit-
tee (JDC) to submit stories
and articles written by
them which appear in
Jewish newspapers and
magazines during the
calendar year of 1981 for
judging in the $1,000 JDC-
Smolar Award.
The materials must be
written by a full or part-

FOR THE r

time student and must have
been published in a news-
paper or magazine largely
devoted to Jewish affairs.

! ^ !

o T OGR A

11

EST

P

H t,

P H
WEDDINGS T

The entries must be
postmarked not later than
Jan. 20, 1982.

BAR MITZVAS

-

For information, write
Public Information De-
partment, AmericanJewish
Joint Distribution Commit-
tee, Room 1914, 60 E 42nd
St., New York, N.Y. 10165.
.

BERNIE

WINER

and ASSOCIATES

357-1010

Audrey Lorber

=

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