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J.D.C. Grants Five Million Francs for Re-opening of Synagogues and Schools in France

The American Joint Distribution Committee announced today that it had made a grant of five million france to the Jewish Consistory of France to help rebuild the religious and communal institutions of the Jews in this country.

This grant will be used for re-opening synagogues and elementary schools of Jewish education as well as for the training of rabbis and furnishing them to communities now deprived of spiritual leaders. At the present time, there are no Jewish schools functioning in France and the Consistory will have to arrange for their re-opening and for the training of teachers.

Total damage to Jewish religious and communal institutions in France as a result of the war and the Nazi occupation is estimated at about fifty million france. Several synagogues were completely destroyed and many damaged by the Nazis and the Vichy militia. In Paris alone, five synagogues were damaged by bombs. Of the sixty rabbis of congregations in France at the time of the outbreak of the war, two were killed, four taken prisoner and seventeen deported.

The grant announced today, it was pointed out, is an emergecy allocation in addition to the monthly grant the Joint Distribution Committee is making to the Consistory to cover its budgetary needs and, especially, the requirements of small communities now unable to cover their budgets for cultural and religious activities. This condition is felt to be temporary and in time, as the reconstruction of the French Jewish community progresses, it will again become self-supporting as it has always been in the past.

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