2,500 Jewish Refugees from Cuba Registered in Miami 10 Months

About 2,500 Cuban Jewish refugees were registered by United HIAS representatives in Miami in the 10 months ending May, 1962, and seven to 15 Jews continue to come from Cuba to Miami weekly, the 64th annual meeting of the National Conference of Jewish Communal Service was informed here today.

Of the total, according to the speaker, Michael Goodman, executive director of the Jewish Vocational Service of Miami, about 1,200 of the Cuban Jewish families have been resettled through the efforts of HIAS in various parts of the United States.

As soon as it had become apparent that there would be an influx of Jewish refugees from Cuba, Mr. Goodman reported, joint planning had been undertaken by a number of leading Jewish agencies in Miami, including the Greater Jewish Federation, Greater Miami Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Family and Children’s Service, the Jewish Vocational Service Mount Sinai Hospital and representatives of HIAS.

“The United HIAS representatives,” he said, “were the key people in dealing with the Cuban Jews.” He pointed out that the Jewish refugees from Cuba leave that country not because of anti-Semitism, but because of the general situation there.

Mr. Goodman’s report was part of a general discussion dealing with social and vocational adjustment problems of newly-arrived refugees, held under the chairmanship of Ann S. Petluck, director of U.S. operations for the United Hias Service. Other discussants at that session were Herman Murov, executive director of the Jewish Occupational Council, New York; Ann Rabinowitz, chief supervisor of the vocational services department of the New York Association for New Americans; and Simon Hoffman, executive director of the Jewish Vocational Service of Boston.

At another session today Jules Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Philadelphia, told the conference it was his belief that “the firm stand” taken by Jewish religious and community relations agencies has helped reduce intercommunity tensions in the areas of Church-State relations and religion in public schools.

Mr. Cohen expressed the conviction that drives toward increasing religious holiday observances, Bible-reading and prayers in public schools are only temporary situations. He said experience shows that tensions that could develop from such issues can be minimized, and “elements of acrimony” can be removed, through lay and clerical discussions between Jewish and Christian representatives.

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