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Jewish Agency Clarifies Religious Status of Refugee Children from Teheran

The American Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs today received a cable from the executive of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem clarifying the religious status of the 839 children who recently arrived in Palestine from refugee camps in Teheran. There has been much public controversy concerning charges by some religious groups that the Agency was placing these children in homes and settlements where they would not receive religious training.

After being interviewed by Miss Henrietta Szold and a corps of social workers and teachers, the children were distributed to private homes and colonies on the following basis, the cable states:

One-hundred and twenty-three children joined their parents here, 21 were placed in children’s homes, 35 were taken by relatives; 16 have been hospitalized or are still to be placed; 40 were placed under the supervision of the Agudas Israel, 278 with the Mizrachi and 36 with the conservative Ahavan and Beth Jenoshua groups; and 290 were placed in non-orthodox institutions or settlements. All children over 14 years of age were given the right to choose where they wished to go, while others were placed according to the customary religious life of their parents or according to the parents’ specific wishes where such were known. Doubtful cases will be given religious training.

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