Hundreds of Jewish Immigrants Arrive in Israel on Rosh Hashanah
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Hundreds of Jewish Immigrants Arrive in Israel on Rosh Hashanah

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Several hundred new immigrants observed Rosh Hashanah for the first time in Israel a few hours after they arrived in two boats on Sunday.

The newcomers received special help from the Jewish Agency absorption department to assure their arrival at their new homes before the start of the year. They joined the rest of the Israeli Jews in putting aside for a time concern over the worsening international situation to usher in the New Year with the hope for another 12 months of continued growth and economic well being.

An estimated 750,000 Israelis made holiday excursions to homes of family members, friends and resorts. Hotels had a record number of tourists who came to Israel for the observance and kept Israel’s air and sea punts operating at top capacity.

The new immigrants received, in addition to regular food rations, special holiday foods, including wine, challah, honey, cooked chicken, fruits and cakes. In places where electricity had not yet been installed, they were provided with lamps and kerosene. Agency officials worked hard but willingly to ensure that the newcomers had proper facilities to observe the New Year.


President Ben-Zvi was brought New Year greetings by the diplomatic corps. In the absence of the Soviet Ambassador, Michael Abramov, the dean of the diplomatic corps, Jerome Yancey, the Liberian Ambassador, spoke on behalf of the corps. The President attended services at his regular place of worship in the Rehavia synagogue in Jerusalem.

Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Nissim said he had received a large number of greetings from abroad, including one from the Jewish community in Yugoslavia. He said none had been received so far from communities in the Soviet bloc.

The Ministry for Religious Affairs distributed 25 Torah scrolls to immigrant settlements, as well as 150 shofars at special reduced prices. Early yesterday morning, a shofar brought from the Bergen-Belsen murder camp was sounded in the Mount Zion synagogue. Thousands of hassidim arrived in Jerusalem to spread the festival with their rabbis.

Arab neighbors brought to friends in Jewish settlements their first fruits–dates and pomegranates–for the traditional Schehechiyanu. A record number of prisoners were given 48 hours leave to spend the holiday with their families in an experiment which proved highly successful last year. All but a few returned to Jail in time, one of them rushing to meet the deadline in a stolen car.

Israelis generally hoped that the New Year would be one of continued economic growth, more immigration and fewer political squabbles.

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