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Decision to Close Cuban Office Dictated by More Urgent Needs in Other Areas. J.D.C. Says

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The decision to close the Havana office of the Joint Distribution Committee on Oct. 1 was explained here today by officials of the organization as a move designed to curtail expenditures in areas where the local Jewish community can provide the necessary care for displaced Jews residing in the community and shift the available funds to countries where needs are comparatively more acute.

At present, there ere 200 refugee Jews in Havana who must depend on relief assistance since Cuban law bare the employment of non-citizens. The Jewish population of Cuba is 12,000.

At a recent meeting with Jewish community leaders in Havana, Louis Sobel, special representative of the J.D.C. explained that the agency feels that the Cuban Jewish community is ready and financially able to assume responsibility for the refugees. Current obligations in Europe, Shanghai and–to an over-growing extent–in Moslem countries, Sobel told the meeting, compel the J.D.C. to reduce its present appropriations in areas where the needs are comparatively not as urgent.

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