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World Congress of Sephardic Communities Opens in Jerusalem

The Second World Sephardic Congress opened here last night with more than 200 delegates from Sephardic communities throughout the world in attendance.

President Ben Zvi, greeting the delegates, declared that the Jewish State was established “not only to provide a permanent home for the Jewish masses, but also to unite and integrate all the Jewish tribes into one nation with one language and one national tradition. ” The Congress was also greeted by Berl Locker, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, and representatives of the World Jewish Congress and the Histadrut.

The Congress, which is expected to last a week, will discuss various problems of Sephardim, especially increasing Sephardic immigration to Israel and the integration of Sephardim in Israel. It is estimated that fully half the immigrants to Israel since the state was established have been Sephardim, some of whom complain they have not been integrated fully into the economic and political life of the state.

In addition to the regular work of the congress, a number of experts on Maimonide will read papers devoted to the work and thought of the great medieval Jewish scientist and philosopher. The session last night was opened by Asher Benroy, president of the World Sephardic Federation. Delegates come from many countries including: Britain, United States, Brazil, Algiers, Belgium, Belgian Congo, France, Colombia, Greece, Holland, Iran, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Rhodesia, Tunis, Switzerland, Uruguay, Yugoslavia and Turkey.

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