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Algerian Girls Lack Dowries, Men Shy Away

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Inability of Algerian Jewish girls to provide marriageable young men with dowries has so reduced the number of marriages and has been such an incentive for intermarriage as to have excited many Jews to appeal informally to rabbis and other community leaders to urge young Jews to forego their claims to dowries.

The problem, which is more or less universal today, is particularly acute in small countries of the Near East and where the Jews still live in ghettos in which poverty reigns supreme. Special groups organized to collect dowries for poor Jewish girls find it difficult to maintain their existence, for money is less plentiful now than ever before. Besides, young Jews are leaving their home towns to seek their fortunes in the great world.

The girls can offer the young men no pecuniary inducement for staying at home, and many a girl has chosen intermarriage in preference to remaining celibate. The present move to interest young men even in those girls who have little or no money will serve to lessen the number of such mixed marriages, leaders hope.

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