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Zion Office in Switzerland Established; Groups Cooperate

A Palestine Office for Switzerland has been established here. The bureau includes representatives of various Zionist groups, including the General Zionists, the Mizrachi, the Poale-Zion, the Revisionists and the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO). There is also a representative of the Hechaluz, pioneer organization.

“The Jews have no representatives among the municipal officials, but have a member on the Town Council and the Administrative Council. Their mode of life is almost patriarchal. Illiteracy is general; the languages spoken are Turkish and Arabic, while a few speak Chaldean. The majority are entirely ignorant of Hebrew. Nevertheless, they possess, besides their synagogue, a small Hebrew and religion class.

According to their reports there remain only 150 Jews in Nisibin, within an hour’s journey are 800 Jews who live with the Bedouins and lead a nomad life. At Diarbekr, in Turkey, are 1,000 Jews. The Jews of Kamechlie consider that the foundation of a school will centralize this Jewish population. On the advice of M. Silver, a Communal Council has already been formed.

“Near Kamechlie is the tomb of Rabbi Yehuda ben Batera, one of the authors of the Mishna, and every year, four days before Shavuot, a pilgrimage is made to it by all the Jews of the region.”

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