Social welfare

  • Issue: August 1978
  • Designer: G. Sagi / D. Ben-Dov
  • Stamp size: 40 x 25.7 mm
  • Plate no.: 551
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

The term 'Welfare Services" as it has come to be generally interpreted during these past few decades in Israel, as in the other countries of the free world, implies that the governments and their institutions accept responsibility for their people's conditions of life and for assisting society to improve its situation by supplying those services that the individual, the family and the community have come to expect and to demand as of right.

"Welfare Services" refers to a level of social services lying between the basic essentials that have already been achieved and the goal of a Welfare State. In other words, before we fight for our Welfare State, we first have to ensure the basic essentials of life. In this connection, we must remember that satisfying these needs does not mean the fulfilment of our task - there will always be unmet expectations which become unmet needs, for as one set of needs is satisfied, so a further set of demands is put forward which has to be satisfied in turn.

The implications of "Welfare Services" are, therefore, in a state of continuous flux, reflecting as they do, the aspirations, achievements and expectations of the individual and the community at any given point of time. As Man progresses and becomes ever more ambitious, he finds himself new challenges and sets himself new goals. What was, only yesterday, an object within the reach of only the few, is today regarded as a basic commodity enjoyed by the public at large and to be brought within the reach of everyone. It follows, therefore, that today's "luxury" will become tomorrow's "necessity" without which life would be "impossible" - it is merely a matter of timing.

To illustrate this, we have only to consider such things as electricity, running water, transportation, housing conditions, furniture, household appliances (electric refrigerators; television; washing machines; gas ranges, etc.), basic education (notice how our concepts of what is "basic" have broadened over the past few years and how we take it for granted that the range of this basic education will become even broader in the coming years), and so on. We have only to look at the dramatic changes that have taken place in a single lifetime, to grasp the speed at which our own lives have been revolutionised and that it is but a matter of time until its achievements come to be shared by every member of the community. When "Welfare Conditions" come to be discussed in the 80's, nobody will even consider mentioning those items which in the 60's, and even in the 70's, were regarded as long-term goals and formed the subject of heated debates, even open clashes with the authorities. Here in Israel, for example, during the first twenty years of the State, people laughed when plans were put forward for the construction of an "autostrada" from Metulla to Flat; when it was proposed to provide universal free high school education; comprehensive national insurance; comprehensive universal health insurance; jobs for all; decent housing and pleasant living conditions, etc. Some of these proposals were filed away almost immediately on the grounds that they were "Utopian" and "impossible to achieve" -"dreams of the future" - "distant goals, way over the horizon" - and yet but a few years have passed (years of wars and crises I) and many of these plans have taken on flesh and blood and the country has moved closer and closer to the day when they will all have been transformed into realities though, even there priorities will have to be observed.

In August, the l9th World Conference of the International Council on Welfare Services will take place in Jerusalem. This Conference will mark the Jubilee of the organization which was founded in Paris in the year 1928. The Council which is active in all five continents, is recognized as the authoritative body in the sphere of Welfare Services.

The Jerusalem reunion of the outstanding brains in both the theoretical and practical fields, promises a high level of discussion, new lines of thought and planning and practical suggestions for their implementation. It is our hope that the unique atmosphere of Jerusalem that has influenced Man from time immemorial, will influence the Conference's deliberations so that all may learn from the achievements and failures, the crises and solutions of the first 50 years, and that "from Jerusalem there shall go out glad tidings to the world".

The Conference is expected to provide a new approach to the problems facing us in the years ahead to help us discover new peaks on the road to Welfare Services and to strengthen the bonds of mutual help between nations.

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Social welfare