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Jewish Communities in Europe Seek Aid to Cope with Flood of Refugees

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The Combined Overseas Rehabilitation and Refugee Appeal reported here today that European Jewish communities were “facing almost impossible problems in attempting to cope with a new flood of refugees.”

The organization said that the refugees had created “immense problems, both immediate and long-term, for the Jewish organizations to which they have turned for assistance.”

A flood of refugees is concentrated in Marseilles, CORRA reported, declaring that “the city’s Jewish population rose from 8,000 in the 1950’s to nearly 40,000 even before the Jewish refugees started to swell its numbers,” The organization stressed the refugees “need emergency aid, cash, food, medicines and housing.”

The report said that the most recent arrivals of refugees are from Tunisia and estimated that 3,500 Tunisian Jews have entered France in the last few months. It emphasized that about two-thirds are French nationals and are eligible for government assistance, but more than one-third are Tunisian citizens and are dependent on assistance from local Jewish agencies.

The Tunisian Jews, the report stated, represent only a part of the picture. The number of Egyptian Jews arriving, and being helped, is also rising. The Joint Distribution Committee, in collaboration with the Fonds Social Juife Unifie–central French Jewish fund-raising organization–provides emergency aid to the new refugees, the CORRA said, urging British Jewry to do its share.

A wave of Jewish refugees in France is also anticipated from Algeria as a result of the situation there. Algerian Jews automatically French citizens can enter France without any difficulties. However, they will need aid before adjusting themselves to a new life. The CORRA therefore foresees that the need for aiding “new” Jewish refugees in France may increase in 1962.

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