Jewish Children in Panama Republic Get No Jewish Education

Two hundred Jewish children in Colon, in the Panama Republic, receive no Jewish education whatsoever and go to the local public schools which are under the influence of Catholic priests, Mrs. Belissa Cohen, a Jewish woman from Colon, who has just arrived in New York complains in an interview here.

We have no Talmud Torah and our children are growing up like a bare tree in the forest, a tree without leaves, said Mrs. Cohen. There are forty-odd Jewish families in Colon, mainly Sephardic Jews who have come there from Palestine, Salonica and Constantinople. There are also a few Jewish families from Eastern Europe. The Colon Jews are poor, most of them pedlars, travelling through the countryside among the sugar plantations with packs on their backs. Even if we could afford some sort of Talmud Torah or Cheder, where are we to get a Hebrew teacher? I appeal to New York Jews to save our two hundred Jewish children from drifting gradually into Christianity. New York is such a great Jewish community with so many rich Jews, while we in Colon are so poor and forsaken.

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