Jerusalem (Jan. 1)
A total of 55,000 immigrants came into Israel in 1956, marking a 53 percent increase as compared with 1955, and representing the heaviest influx of immigrants into this country in any single year since 1951.
These were among figures made public here today by the Jewish Agency, which announced that 55,000 more immigrants are expected to flow into Israel during the first nine months of 1957.
A special fund of 1,000,000 Israeli pounds ($550,000) has been set up by the Agency and the Israel Federation of Labor to help support and absorb into the country’s economy the immigrants arriving from Egypt as a result of the expulsion of Jews from that country. More than 500 Jews have arrived from Egypt so far, and many of them are craftsmen and professionals.
Among the Egyptian Jews are a number of Karaites, a Jewish sect dating back to the Babylonian exile. The rabbinate here has received assurances that the Karaites will be given special protection toward retaining their own identity. The Karaites, since Babylonian times, reject all Talmudic interpretations of the Bible, and oppose what they call “repressive rabbinic law.”