NEW YORK (Feb. 11)
Relations between the Jews of Colombia and the general population are “excellent,” it was reported here today by Alfredo Steckerl, vice-president of the Centro Israelita Filantropico of Barranquilla, who is visiting this country.
Mr. Steckerl, who is also president of the Hebrew Union School of Barranquilla, said that apart from a few older members of the Jewish community there who required some aid, the community had no welfare problems.
The Hebrew Union School, he said, has an enrollment of 260 children, 60 of whom are non-Jewish, and is considered the top-flight school of Barranquilla, a city of 500, 000. Non-Jews are eager to send their children to the school, he reported. Among the prominent personalities who visited the school recently was the Bishop of the city, Msgr. German Gavaria.
The 1,000 Jews living in Barranquilla form about eight per cent of the total Jewish population of Colombia, the majority of whom live in Bogota and Cali. Mr. Steckerl praised action by the World Jewish Congress in New York in aiding small Jewish communities in the search for qualified community personnel. He reported that through WJC help he has been in touch with a rabbi in the United States who had expressed his willingness to become rabbi of the new synagogue recently built in Barranquilla.