W. German Govt. Authorizes
Development Loan for Israel
BONN (JTA) — The Bonn
government has signed an
agreement to provide Israel
with a 140 million mark
($50 million) development
loan which the Israelis are
to use for special projects
such as road construction,
construction of electric
power stations and invest-
ment in high-tech industry.
The loan, for fiscal 1984,
was approved over the
strong objections of Deputy
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Foreign Minister Juergen
Moellemann of the Free
Democratic Party (FDP),
coalition partner of the rul-
ing Christian Democratic
Moellemann has been one
of the leading opponents of
continuing West German
economic aid to Israel for
projects. The loans began in
1965 when Bonn and Israel
established formal diploma-
The opposition Green
Party also opposes eco-
nomic aid to Israel and
only a few weeks ago
urged the government to
make the money avail-
able instead for the
Palestinians who suffer
under "Israeli aggres-
The Federal Republic is
the only country, apart from
the United States which
regularly grants develop-
ment aid loans to Israel, but
the practice has had a trou-
In 1976, the then Israeli
Foreign Minister, Yigal Al-
lon, sought to have repay-
ment on the loans extended
beyond the annual terms
because of the burden on Is-
In 1979, then Chancellor
Helmut Schmidt agreed to
extend the repayment
terms despite protests from
his finance minister that to
do so would establish a pre-
cedent for Bonn's develop-
ment aid to other countries.
Schmidt was not moved but
ordered his ministers to
keep the matter discreet to
avoid pressure from Arab
Last year, in the after-
math of Israel's invasion
of Lebanon, Moellemann
urged Chancellor Helmut
Kohl publicly to "punish"
Jerusalem on grounds
that the Arab countries
would reward Bonn fi-
nancially and politically.
Kohl rejected these
arguments as one-sided and
ordered the Foreign Minis-
try to sign that year's loan
agreement with Israel.
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. . and Me'
(Copyright 1983, JTA, Inc.)
AN IMPORTANT TENET: The Jewish community
in the U.S. is the largest Jewish community in the world.
Since the establishment in 1895 of the first two Jewish
federations in Boston and Cincinnai, the federation move-
ment has grown to 210 federations in larger cities in the
U.S. and Canada and about 800 in small communities,
embracing 95 percent of the entire Jewish population.
The Jewish federations are the counterpart of the
charitable, welfare and educational functions of the
kehilla. However, they distinguished themselves by their
voluntarism. They are voluntary bodies created, main-
tained and perpetuated by volunteers. Over 1,000,000 con-
tributors in the U.S. and Canada make their contributions
to them voluntarily every year.
The voluntary character of the Jewish federations ex-
presses itself in the fact that any Jewish resident can join
his local federation by becoming a contributor and can
decide at any time to sever his relationship. There are no
obligatory ties of any kind, the only ties being a sense of
moral obligation and responsibility.
The federations have been able to transcend the organ-
izational, ideological, religious, and political -differences
which characterize Jewish life in this country. They
brought together the broadest range of people with the
most diverse philosophies, views and priorities to work
together for purposes and needs they all share. In their
combined power the federations have found unparalled
The central body is the Council of Jewish Federations
which serves as an instrument to strengthen — through
planning and services — the work and impact of the federa-
AN IMPORTANT BOOK: An excellent and com-
prehensive book on the Jewish federation movement —
vividly presenting the American Jewish community as
coming of age in the most demanding and creative period of
the last 25 years — has been published this week by the
Jewish Publication Society. The title of this 400-page vol-
ume is "To Dwell in Unity." The author is Philip Bernstein,
the very popular executive vice president of the Council of -
Jewish Federations who retired in 1979.
The book is a fundamental contribution to the history
of Jewish communal life in this country. The author mas-
terfully paints a portrait of the community. He does not
miss a nuance in the development of Jewish organizational
life, and of the role played by the federations and their
council by constantly expending their obligations. He pre-
sents facts exhaustively, reflects on them scholarly and
analyzes all the currents and undercurrents in the activi-
ties of American Jewry since 1960 when the community
grew to unprecedented heights.
The book is encyclopedic on all aspects of the activities_
of American Jewry concerning local, domestic and interna-
tional Jewish communal interests, including action of
American Jewry in aiding Israel to meet humanitarian
needs. The author deals only with the years of the 1960s
and 1970s which were years of turbulent events and his-
toric changes for the Jewish federations. The earlier years
of the origin and growth of the Federations from their
beginning in 1895 were dealt with by his predecessor the
late Harry Lurie, in a volume entitled "A Heritage Af-
"To Dwell in Unity" is shaped by the insights Berns-
tein gained from his 45 years of involvement in professional
leadership in Jewish federation work. Prior to his joining
the Council of Jewish t'ederations, he held executive posi-
tions in the Cleveland Jewish community. He is a Phi Beta
Kappa graduate of the University of Michigan and a reci-
pient of the Distinguished Service Award from Case West-
ern Reserve University's School of Applied Social Sciences,
where he was on the faculty.
AN IMPORTANT GOAL: It is interesting to note
that just a few days before Bernstein's book appeared, a
study in Israel has shown that the press there keeps the
Israelis practically uninformed about Jewish communal
life in the North American countries. The news carried by
the newspapers in Israel about American Jewry is limited
practically to the fund-raising conducted for Israel, to pro-
Israel efforts in Washington by American Jewish groups
and to anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. Nothing is printed
about the creative side of Jewish life in America, about the
variety of activities conducted by Jewish organizations in
the U.S. and Canada, on the domestic scene; nothing on the
important role which Jews in the U.S. play in the general
life of the country; nothing on Jewish achievements.
Bernstein's "To Dwell in Unity" gives the Israelis the
opportunity to learn more about the wide scope of activities
in the largest Jewish community in the world. The book
should be a "must" in Israel for readers and leaders in order
to help them maintain bridges of understanding between
Israel and American Jewry.