24 Iyar, 5760
Claims Conference to Meet on Wednesday in New York to Discuss Principles of Allocation of Funds for Coming Years
In Light of New Recommendations to the Committee, the Jewish Agency Demands Increase in Percentage of Funds for Jewish Education, While Preserving Principle that a Minimum of 60% of Funds are Allocated for Projects in the State of Israel
In light of new recommendations to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which is scheduled to meet on May 31, 2000 in New York in order to discuss, among other things, the principles of allocating funds in the coming years, the Jewish Agency demands an increase in the percentage of funds allocated for Jewish education. At the same time, the Agency insists that the principle that has been adhered to up till now -- namely, that a minimum of 60% of the funds is allocated for projects in the state of Israel -- be preserved. This is in light of the large aliyah from the former Soviet Union, which brought many Holocaust survivors from Eastern Europe as well as the fact that the State of Israel, which is the state of the Jewish people, already has the largest number of Holocaust survivors of any country.
In recent months, the Planning committee of the Claims Conference has met in order to define, among other things, the principles of allocating funds for the coming years, out of heirless funds or from the return of communal properties. The final meeting of the Planning Committee will take place this Wednesday in New York, with the participation of the Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Sallai Meridor.
New recommendations of the Planning Committee call for the Claims Conference to allocate up to 20% of its annual funds for documentation, commemoration, and education about the Holocaust. This is in contrary to the principle that had been practiced to date, whereby 20% (and not up to 20%) was allocated for these purposes. Furthermore, the recommendations call for the direct allocation of only one-quarter of the total amount for projects that deal with documentation, commemoration, and education, while three-quarters will be set aside for the establishment of a fund dealing with these issues. Thus, the allocation for education will actually decrease from 20% to about 6% a year.
An additional recommendation of the committee relates to the scope of allocations for projects in Israel. The new recommendations failed to define any budget framework for these areas, suggesting only that priority be given to projects in Israel. The Jewish Agency fears that the principle that has been practiced to date - that 60% of the funds is allocated to projects in Israel and 40% for projects abroad -- will not be preserved.
For further information contact: Michael Jankelowitz
Liaison to Foreign Press and Media, JAFI