Chief Rabbi of Oran Flees with Torah to France; Communal Life Disrupted

Algerian Jews are continuing to flee from Algeria, despite the recent cease-fire understanding with OAS, the European underground movement fighting Algerian independence, officials here reported today.

In recent days, a large number of Algerian Jewish notables have arrived in France, including the Chief Rabbi of Oran, who brought with him his congregation’s Torah Scroll, and officials of the Algerian Jewish consistory.

No accurate figures are available on the number of fleeing Jews, partly because French authorities do not maintain migration statistics by religion and partly because not many Jews ask French Jewish welfare organizations for help immediately on arrival.

However, officials of the Fonds Social Juife Unifie, the principal Jewish welfare agency, indicated that some 20,000 Algerian Jews have reached France since the cease fire, and that the stream will continue unabated.

All Jewish communal life in Algeria has been disrupted by the Jewish departures, and international Jewish organizations no longer have representatives there. A World Jewish Congress representative who went to France for a meeting of the Fonds Social two months ago did not return to Algeria. Top officials of the Federation of Jewish Communities also remained in France, The Jewish Agency, which is keeping a skeleton staff in Algeria, closed its office in Oran.

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