JERUSALEM (Jul. 16)
All 600 women and children of the Jewish settlements located on the Palestine-Syrian frontier who had been evacuated to Safed and Tiberias since the outbreak of the hostilities in Syria, returned safely to their settlements today.
Simultaneously Jewish institutions in Palestine resumed today their contact with the Jewish community in Beirut. The Beirut community, which counts 6,000 members, is headed by Dishi Bey, and its Chief Rabbi is Dr. Shabbetai Bachbut who was born in Jerusalem. The majority of the Jews of the city are engaged in trade or in various crafts, the most important of which is the manufacture of gold and silver ornaments. There are two schools, one, with 1,200 pupils, conducted by the Alliance Israelite Universelle, and the other, with 400 pupils, by the Kehilla. There are also a number of charitable institutions, a B’nai B’rith lodge, and a Maccabi sports organization, at which the Hebrew language is used exclusively.
There is one daily paper, published in Arabic under the title “EI Alaz al Israeli” The Jewish World). It is edited by Mr. Moise Ajami, and circulates throughout Syria, Iraq and Turkey.
The majority of the Jewish population of Beirut speak Arabic, but French is the medium used by the intelligentsia. A large number of Beirut’s Jews also have a good command of the Hebrew language.
Despite the city’s proximity to Palestine, the Zionist movement in Beirut is weak as a result of centuries of assimilation. The community has been reinforced in numbers, however, by steady Jewish immigration from Aleppo, the most ancient and largest Jewish community in Syria, the organization, of which dates back to times prior to the Second Temple. Most of the 10,000 Jews in Aleppo are merchants, but there are also many artisans. The Jews in Aleppo speak Arabic only. They maintain a Jewish hospital and many religious schools.