Menu JTA Search

All Congo Jews Traced. None Missing; Jewish Businesses Reopened

Forty Jewish men are now in Leopoldville. capital of the strife-wracked Republic of the Congo, having reopened their businesses there. Rabbi Moshe Levy, of the Congo, reported here today on a stopover during his return to Elizabethville, in Katanga, Rabbi Levy said there were no Jewish women or children in Leopoldville. He emphasized that all Congo Jews have been traced, and none is missing.

He reaffirmed statements made in an interview in Brussels to the effect that many refugees had returned to Elizabcthville and that local authorities and the population of the secessionist province of Katanga were treating Jews there well.

The rabbi sought to correct here what he termed inaccurate press reports of his statements in Brussels. He said that the statement that he took his children to Israel and was sending them to school in Brussels was incorrect, adding that his family had been in Salisbury since the native rebellion against European whites first broke out in the Congo.

“I went alone to Israel, together with a group of Congo refugees, to explore the possibilities for settlement in Israel of Congo Jewish refugees. ” the Congo rabbi said. “I had discussed various plans with Israel officials and with the Jewish Agency. and then went to Brussels to contact Congolese refugees there and to acquaint them with Israel possibilities.” He reported that several of the refugees decided to go to Israel and were currently preparing for resettlement there.

“I was also wrongly reported as saying that I urged Jewish refugees from Katanga to use the facilities for resettlement offered by South Africa,” Rabbi Levy stressed. “My efforts have been exclusively directed toward resettlement of refugees in Israel. I appreciate the South African Government’s offer of help to all refugees from the Congo without discrimination of race or creed, but I personally have not been in touch with South African authorities; and the statement about this attributed to me in the Brussels report was not made by me.

“On my way here I stopped over in Leopoldville and contacted the Jews who remained there, and reported to them the cordial reception the Jewish Agency accorded me and the possibilities of immigration and assistance which the Agency was prepared to render to Congo Jews,” the Congo rabbi reported.

(From Bulawayo, Rhodesia, it was reported today that another group of Jewish refugees from the Congo left for Israel. This is the third group of refugees that proceeded from Rhodesia to Israel for permanent settlement there. Altogether, about 60 Congo Jews emigrated to Israel from Rhodesia since the turbulent developments started in the Congo.)

NEXT STORY