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Jewish Cause in North Africa Not Yet Lost, Baron Rothschild Says

Baron Guy de Rothschild, a leader of the French Jewish community, told the 10th annual country directors conference of the Joint Distribution Committee today that French Jews “do not agree that establishment of Arab sovereignty is an occasion in itself for setting up a program of flight for the Jews in North Africa.” He said that the Jewish community leadership in France has faith in what the French Government can do for North African Jewry in the present crisis.

“We counsel prudence and watchfulness to our North African coreligionists but we refuse to admit in advance that the cause is lost,” Baron de Rothschild declared. “We will do everything in our power, feeble though it may be, to safeguard the rights of the Jews in North Africa.”

He said French Jews would assist, “without argument” those who chose to go to Israel or to come to France or to stay where they were “but we have no right to anticipate their wishes or decision.” He urged the Jews of the world to assist the French community in the reception of North African Jews in the same way that Israel is helped.

Saul Kagan, secretary of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, reported to the final session of the conference that 409 applications had been received from 27 countries for assistance in 1956 totaling $30 million. He pointed out that this total was three times the funds available to the conference.

He said that in screening the applications, the Conference gave greater consideration to one-time capital and investment grants which would help build up community institutions and community resources so that the Jewish communities in Europe would be in a better position eventually to take care of their own needs.

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