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Jewish Agency Official Says South American Jews Live Peacefully

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The Jews in the three major centers of Jewish population in South America–Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay–live in an atmosphere of tranquility despite economic and social conditions there, Yitzhak, a member of the Jewish Agency executive and head of its department of education and culture in Jewish communities abroad, said here today on his return from a visit to those countries.

Noting that the South American Jews are not unduly disturbed even by periodic anti-Semitic outbursts, Mr. Harkavi said that any prospect for their immigration to Israel must, therefore, be based on the positive side of life in Israel, rather than on any pressures on them in their countries of domicile. Stressing that the main connection of the younger South American Jews was with Israel rather than with other countries, he said that some 2,000 immigrants were expected to come to Israel from South America this year, less than the 5,000 who came the previous year but more than in earlier years.

He reported that 25 percent of the Jewish pupils in the three countries study in Jewish schools, and said that it was the aim of his department to double this figure. He reported that there were sufficient numbers of teachers for Jewish elementary schools, but that few of them are able to teach in high schools or seminaries. Many of the South American Jewish, he declared, have spent some time in the Greenberg Teachers Seminary in Jerusalem, sponsored by the Jewish Agency.

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