NEW YORK (May. 18)
“Encouraging progress” in meeting the needs of the Jews of North Africa–both transients crowding into the port cities from the hinter-land on route to Israel and resident populations–was reported today by Dr. Joseph J. Scbartz, chairman of the European Executive Council of the J.D.C., at a meeting of the J.D.C executive committee.
The last four months have seen “good gains along a “broad front in the fight against Jewish poverty and sickness in North Africa,” he said. He pointed out that newly-opened J.D.C. offices in Casablanca, Algiers and Tangiers are directing an enlarged assistance program covering shelter, child-care and medical services.
To meet the emergency problem of Jews trekking from the villages and cities of Morocco to the city of Algiers, from which point they hope to emigrate to Israel, the J.D.C. has opened in the last three months three transient centers in the city which provide shelter for nearly 3,000 men, women and children, Dr. Schwartz disclosed. At these shelters, Jewish transients receive food, clothing and complete physical examinations, the latter serving to screen out the sick from the well. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are provided for those persons found too weak or ill to continue on to Marseilles, chief European embarkation point for Israel.
Several permanent health centers have also been opened in the major cities of Morocco Algeria and Tunisia, in order to help overcome the “appalling” health conditions prevailing among the 500,000 Jews of North Africa, “In these centers, an expanded campaign is being waged against trachoma, favus, tuberculosis and other diseases which afflict the Jews of North Africa,” Dr. Schwartz reported.
Morris Laub, veteran welfare worker who supervised the J.D.C. assistance programs in behalf of 53,000 Jewish refugees on Cyprus for almost three years, has been appointed J.D.C. director for Morocco and Algeria, it was announced by Moses A. Leavitt, executive vice-chairman of the agency.