Special Institutes Set Up in Israel to Aid in Adjustment of North African Jews

The Israeli Government and the Jewish Agency have set up special institutes to aid Jewish immigrants from North Africa to adjust themselves to life in the Jewish state, it was reported here by Eliahu Eliashar, Sephardic member of the Knesset and leader of the Sephardic Jews in Jerusalem.

Conceding that integration of the North African Jews into the life of the new state is a vexing problem to the Israeli authorities, Mr. Eliashar said consideration of the differences in background between the Ashkenazic and Sephardic communities must take into account the recent history and long-standing geographic isolation of the North African Jews.

Strongly condemning all expressions of prejudice aimed at the North African immigrants, the Israeli deputy recalled a recent assertion by Premier David Ben Gurion in which the qualities of this segment of the population were highly lauded. He also noted that 30,000 Jews from North Africa participated in the war against the Arab armies last year.

Mr. Eliashar urged the dispatch of special teams from Israel to the North African communities to prepare prospective immigrants for life in the new state. He deplored the fact that North African Jews “often come to Israel with the idea of immediately opening there a little shop identical to one they had in Morocco or Tunisia and find it difficult to adapt themselves to the conditions prevailing in the Jewish state.”

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