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Managua Jewish Leader Puts Damages to Jewish Community at $2-3 Million

Leonardo Hellenberg. secretary of the Jewish community in Managua, Nicaragua, estimated Jewish losses from the earthquake that devastated that city at $2-$3 million. Hellenberg, who is visiting relatives here said Managua’s 30 Jewish families escaped serious injury but lost all their property which included textile mills. Some were insured but others were uninsured he said. He estimated that it would take at least eight months to rebuild Jewish community structures including the synagogue which was levelled.

Hellenberg, 27, who attended Yeshiva Torah Vodaath in Brooklyn, Yeshiva University in Jerusalem, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he narrowly escaped death when the earthquake destroyed his home in Managua shortly after midnight Dec. 23. He said that he worked from 6 a.m. until noon helping the Nicaraguan Red Cross and then boarded a plane for the U.S. He said he planned the trip before the quake and had airline reservations. According to Hellenberg, Managua’s Jews have taken temporary refuge in San Jose, Costa Rica and Miami, Fla.

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