Sephardic Spokesman Asks Educational Assistance

Mordechai Elkayam, chairman of the Sephardic Federation, urged a special educational program and grants for Sephardic youths at a meeting here today. He was told by Jewish Agency Executive chairman Louis Pincus, however, that educational aid would only scratch the surface of the problem of Israel’s underprivileged Sephardic community.

Elkayam addressed a special meeting of the World Zionist Labor movement secretariate. He called for more “shelihim” (emissaries) to Sephardic communities abroad and stressed his Federation’s efforts to involve Sephardic communities throughout the world in Zionist activities and in the social problems of Israel.

Pincus said 2000 fellowships for academic studies by Sephardic youths would solve nothing. He noted that only six percent of Sephardic youngsters reach the matriculation stage compared to 35 percent of Ashkenazic youth. This means that 94 percent of Sephardic youth does not even reach the stage where they can apply for fellowships, Pincus said. He said the solution was much deeper and could be found only in improving the basic conditions of Sephardic youth at the family level.

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