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23,000 Jewish Children Helped by J.D.C. to Attend Summer Camps

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More than 23,000 needy Jewish children attended summer camps this year organized in 15 countries in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East with help from the Joint Distribution Committee, Charles Jordan, JDC director general, reported today in a review of Jewish summer vacation programs.

He said that in France alone there had been 9,000 Jewish children in summer camps, compared with 5,900 during the previous summer. The increase was due almost entirely to newcomers from Algeria. Parents still in the former French colony also sent their children to vacation camps in France because no vacation program could be organized in Algeria this past summer, he said. A majority of such children did not return to Algeria. They went to France to which their parents emigrated during the vacation period, he stated.

He reported that the second largest summer vacation program was arranged in Poland for 3,000 Jewish children and he called these camps “of particular importance because in Poland–as in Yugoslavia–the children have hardly any contact with Jewish life for practically the entire year.”

An entirely new practice has been added to the JDC-supported summer vacation program in Austria where, in addition to some 350 children, 146 aged persons were given a summer holiday this year, Jordan said. In Sweden, summer camps were attended by needy Jewish children from all Scandinavian countries, he added. Other European countries where such programs were in operation included Belgium, West Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Programs also were set up in Australia, Iran, Morocco and Tunisia.

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