Jews Are Jews by Religion and Nationality Plays No Part Says President of Paris Jewish Consistory Wh
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Jews Are Jews by Religion and Nationality Plays No Part Says President of Paris Jewish Consistory Wh

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For the first time four Jews who are not of French origin were elected to-day members of the Jewish Consistong including. Baron Alired de Cunzbourg, and Mr. Isaac Naiditch, the prominent Zionist, both leading members of the Russo-Jewish Community in Paris.

The meeting was of a very stormy character, some of the members objecting to what they called the foreign invasion. One member went so far as to resign from the Consistory as a protest against the action of the President in permitting the elections to take place. No question of nationality can be raised in this matter, which concerns only membership of the Jewish religious community, the President ruled.

In 1926 a Russo-Jewish Community was formed in Paris on the initiative of M. Henri Sliosberg, the well-known Russian advocate and Jewish public worker, to link together all the new Jewish immigrants of Russian origin who are at present resident in France. The Community is known as the Ohel Jacob and Rabbi Dr. Hisenstadt, former Chief Rabbi of Petrograd is the Rabbi of the Committee. Baron Alfred de Gunzbourg is the President of the Community, M. Sliosbergis Vice-President, and Mr. Naiditch is one of the members of the Committee. The Community has been in relations from the beginning with the Central Jewish Consistory of France, and the Chief Rabbi, M. Israel Levi, has spoken several times in support of the idea of the Russo-Jewish Community.

In 1927 the Chief Rabbi, M. Israel Levi, has spoken with considerable friendliness of the foreign Jewish population in France in a statement which he presented to the National Committee of Political and Social Studies. Up to that time he estimated that the number of Jews who had settled in France in the past forty years was less than 100,000. Most of them were artisans and useful citizens, and the French Jews were doing everything possible to assimilate the new elements to French culture. From the commercial and industrial point of view, he said, the alien immigrants are developing many activities hitherto monopolised by other countries, such as the trade in pearls, diamonds, and other precious stones, the fur trade, in which Paris has ousted Leipzig, and Morocco leather manufacture, previously the monopoly of Austria and Germany, and of which Paris is now the chief centre. In art and science, he added, many Jewish immigrants and sons of Jewish immigrants have brought honour to France, among them Rachel, the foreign Jewess, who became France’s greatest tragedienne. Munk, the teacher of Renan, Derenbourg, Joseph Kalevy, and Henri Weil were all foreign Jews.

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