Synagogues to Pray for Refugees En Route to Palestine; Schweitzer Escorting Group

The Joint Distribution Committee today announced that a circular letter has been sent to all Jewish congregations in the United States requesting that prayers be offered for the safe arrival of the 740 Jewish refugees now en route from Spain and Portugal to Palestine on the first commercial trans-Mediterranean voyage since June, 1940. The letter was signed by Rabbi Jonah B. Wise, vicechairman of the J.D.C.

The office of the Hias-Ica Emigration Association today received a cable from its representative in Spain stating that the Portuguese ship Nyassa which is carrying these refugees to Palestine left Spain yesterday after taking on 560 Jewish refugees who have been in Spain for a long time awaiting emigration. About 180 Jewish refugees boarded the vessel in Lisbon several days ago. Mr. Raphael Spanien, the representative of the Hias-Ica Emigration Association in Spain, supervised the embarkation, the cable said.

The refugees are being escorted by David J. Schweitzer, special envoy of the Hias-Ica Emigration Association. The Joint Distribution Committee is bearing almost the entire transportation costs of $460,000. This group will bring to over $12,500 the number of refugees whom the J.D.C. has helped to escape from Europe to the Western Hemisphere and Palestine since Pearl Harbor.

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