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Why Don’t Us Jews Go to Israel?

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Members of the European Conference on Jewish Community Services, especially delegates from the United States and the Chief Rabbi of Rumania, held a number of meetings here with members of the Polish Jewish community in Denmark. A large number of Polish Jews arrived here last year while on their way to Israel but decided instead to remain and settle in Denmark. During one of these meetings, the Chief Rabbi of Rumania, Dr. Moses Rosen, asked the Polish Jewish refugees point-blank why they stay in Denmark instead of going to Israel where they could live “a real Jewish life instead of opting for an easy existence in Denmark.” A number of American delegates also pressed the refugees with such questions.

In the course of a heated discussion, several of the refugees fired back: “Why do you ask us this question instead of asking it of yourselves or of American Jewry?” Other Polish refugees said that they had non-Jewish wives and knew that they would have serious legal and religious problems in Israel. At the end of the meeting, members of the American delegation decided to help support a newspaper which would serve the Polish Jewish community in Denmark.

The two-day semi-annual European Conference on Jewish Community Services ended last night after adopting a number of administrative and organizational resolutions pertaining to Jewish life in Europe. The Conference decided on plans for holding of a world conference of Jewish youth leaders in Paris in autumn 1972. Other resolutions dealt with the training of young leaders and with the encouragement of additional Jewish participation in communal life. The Conference was attended by delegations from Europe and a 21-member American delegation.

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