MONTREAL (Jul. 2)
Leaders of Canada’s Sephardic community were told by the Israeli Ambassador last night that his government was making progress in reducing the educational and social gap in Israel. But according to Ambassador Theodor Meron, the gap is due, at least in part, to the emigration of affluent Sephardic Jews to countries other than Israel.
Ambassador Meron spoke at the founding convention of the Sephardic Federation of Canada attended by 350 delegates and observers representing Sephardic communities in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Israel. There are some 12,000 Sephardic Jews in Canada, almost all-of them of Moroccan origin.
Meron said, “The fact is that the North African community suffered in its evolution in Israel because the educated and rich among them preferred to emigrate to the U.S., France and other countries, leaving the main body of their community beheaded.” He stressed that the Israeli government is striving to eliminate the poverty gap. He noted that in 1965, 50 percent of the Oriental families in Israel lived three or more to a room, a figure now reduced to ten percent.
Elias Malka, leader of Montreal’s Sephardic community, was unanimously elected president of the newly formed Sephardic Federation of Canada.