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Panama Relief Fund Established

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B’nai B’rith launched a Panama disaster relief drive Thursday to aid the nation devastated by fighting and looting in the wake of the U.S. invasion to oust dictator Manuel Noriega.

B’nai B’rith Community Volunteer Services, chaired by Harvey Gerstein of St. Louis, will coordinate the international effort.

B’nai B’rith Panama will channel the funds for food, medical supplies and rebuilding.

The Jewish community in Panama, meanwhile, welcomed the new democratic government, and pledged support for the administration of President Guillermo Endara.

“We mourn the loss of Panamanian and American lives, and extend sincere condolences to the bereaved families,” the community said in a statement transmitted to B’nai B’rith International headquarters here.

The statement urged the new government to adopt legislation that will provide incentives for private investment to benefit the labor force and the general economy.

Tax-deductible checks made out to B’nai B’rith Panama Relief may be sent to B’nai B’rith CVS, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.

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