ROME (Oct. 14)
The Joint Distribution Committee provides medical, child care and social welfare programs serving one-third of the Jewish population of Morocco and Iran, which aggregate 180,000 Jewish men, women and children, it was reported here today. The report was one of several given to the opening session of the United Jewish Appeal Study Mission which convened here today for a four-day session.
The reports on Morocco and Iran were given by members of the study mission who visited those countries before joining the rest of the mission here, as well as by staff members of the JDC. Programs in both countries embraced in the reports have been affected, the Mission was told, by the general movement of populations from rural areas to urban regions.
In Morocco, Jewish migration from the primitive hinterland has necessitated the reactivation of medical programs against trachoma and ringworm which had been almost eradicated among the Jewish urban dwellers. However, the report noted, due to the overall reduction of individual Jews in need in Morocco, it has been found possible in that country to undertake services for special groups. One of those services consists of the establishment of three homes for the Jewish aged in Casablanca, the first of their kind in the country.
The report shewed also that, as part of the United Nations “Freedom from Hunger” campaign, JDC has been stepping up its nutrition services in Morocco, improving feeding programs both quantitatively and qualitatively, and training local personnel in modern methods of food handling.
The JDC report on Iran showed that, since the organization has been working in that country 15 years, young Jews previously aided by JDC are now taking a more active part in Jewish community affairs. An example was the spontaneous formation, a year ago, of a club for Jewish university students and young professionals at Shiraz, now comprising 250 members, including a number of girls. This club has organized the first youth center outside the capital of Teheran, offering cultural and recreational programs. The club has also raised funds and built a communal bath for the Shiraz Jewish community, which had previously had no such facilities.
Another part of the Iranian report showed that, for the first time, Jewish women in Shiraz have been given the vote, along with their Moslem sisters. The Jewish women now participate in national, interdenominational, women’s organizations, and are represented on the Iranian National Women’s Council. The president of the women’s council cooperates with the JDC’s day-care program.