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Three Jewish Charities To Merge

February 16, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ Philanthropist Charles R. Bronfman was named on Tuesday to head an organization to be formed from the merger of three Jewish charities later this year.

The merger will combine the United Jewish Appeal, the Council of Jewish Federations and United Israel Appeal. The new organization is as yet unnamed.

Bronfman, co-chairman of Seagram Co., said the merger will change the face of Jewish philanthropy, which in the past focused on recovery from the Holocaust.

``The challenges we face are quite different from 50 years ago. Then, anti-Semitism and an urgent need to rescue our people from physical danger defined our mission. Now, we enjoy unprecedented freedom,″ Bronfman said in a statement.

Bronfman said the new organization will focus on such tasks as feeding Jews in poverty-stricken areas and helping settle new immigrants in Israel.

Bronfman has been named one of the 100 richest men in America by Forbes magazine. He is known for making large donations to Jewish causes.

Last year, he and fellow philanthropist Michael Steinhardt launched Birthright Israel, a $300 million program to provide education and travel to Israel for every Jewish youth between 15 and 26.

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