Plight of North African Jews Described at World Mizrachi Parley

The joint Mizrachi-Hapoel Hamizrachi world conference here heard S. Z. Shragai head of the Jewish Agency’s immigration department describe the plight of the North African Jews and explain that the only thing that is delaying their immigration to Israel in larger numbers is a lack of funds. If the Agency had enough money, he said, it could bring between 60,000 and 70,000 more Jews from all parts of the world to Israel.

Immigration is vital for Israel he asserted not only as an economic necessity and as a security measure but also as a means of saving Judaism from a wave of assimilation. The number of mixed marriages is increasing at an alarming rate and young Jewish children are growing up without a knowledge of the meaning of Judaism, he declared.

Mr. Shragai placed responsibility for immigration upon all Jews. He noted that a special effort must be made to attract middle class immigrants from the Western countries. The Agency, he reported, will bring to the next Zionist Actions Committee a plan for raising 10,000,000 pounds to help facilitate such immigration.

Rabbi Yitzhak Nissim, Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, demanded that the United Nations and “enlightened nations” take action to obtain for Jews access to Jewish Holy Places which are located in Arab-held territory. Other speakers complained of “discrimination” in Israel between religious and secular education and called on the Hapoel Hamizrachi representatives in the government to fight for “full equality” for the religious education system.

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