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Refugees Build New Jewish Community in Heart of Mexico

September 26, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The several thousand refugees who have come to Mexico during the last few years are building a new Jewish community, according to Dr. S. Margoshes, editor of “The Day,” who just returned from a visit to Mexico where he investigated Jewish conditions.

“I spent three weeks in Mexico investigating the Jewish situation, speaking with all types of Jews and meeting the representatives of all Jewish institutions and parties. I have come away with a feeling that a new Jewish community is being built up in Mexico,” Dr. Margoshes stated in an interview with the representative of the Jewish Daily Bulletin. “The building process is not going to be a rapid one, as the economic structure of the country precludes a large scale immigration, but there is no doubt that on the Jewish foundation laid in Mexico in the last three years a new Jewish structure is going up. The seven to eight thousand Jewish refugees who have found their way into Mexico are slowly, if laboriously, adjusting themselves to the new environment and are sending for their relatives in Eastern Europe.

“Despite the present economic depression, few Jews leave Mexico and the number of relatives, who are not refugees, entering the country is on the increase. I found a very health Jewish community spirit in Mexico City. Now that the relief work, so splendidly carried on by the B’nai B’rith with limited means, is almost at an end, the Mexican Jews themselves are undertaking to assume their own community responsibilities. There is a splendid Jewish school, a fine Y. M. H. A., an active Zionist Organization, and two synagogues. A Jewish hospital is now being planned and the organization of a Kehillah is being contemplated by a number of communally minded Jewish leaders in Mexico City.

“I did not meet poor Mr. Rosenthal who met his tragic death at the hands of kidnappers, but I can say that his case is absolutely exceptional and that those who generalize from this special instance, conjuring up an image of Mexico as the land of brigands, are in error. The Jews in Mexico have no fear whatever of their safety. The religious conflict affects the Jews only economically. The fight is between the State and the Catholic Church, other denominations not entering into the conflict,” he declared.


Title to a building has been taken by the Jewish Mental Health Society for a hospital for Jewish mental cases which will be the first of this character organized by and for Jews, according to an announcement by Dr. Israel Strauss, president of the Board of Directors.

Dr. Strauss in presenting the plans of the new hospital stated:

“The lack of provision for the care of Jewish mental patients is due to ignorance of the causes and nature and right treatment of mental disorders. Jews discovering a case of mental disease in their family, unable to pay the high fees of a commercial sanitaria, have no other recourse but the commitment of the patient to a state hospital. An Orthodox family is reluctant to place a member in a non-Jewish environment.

“During the calendar year 1925 at two of the three hospitals to which New York City patients are committed, 365 Jews forming 19 per cent of the total, were admitted. An average of more than 100 Jewish mental cases pass through the psychopathic wards at Bellevue hospital every month.

“Due to this condition a group of physicians realizing this need, associated themselves with a group of laymen under whose auspices the Jewish mental hospital is being projected. The hospital, we hope, will have adequate provisions for the prevention, the discovery, the care and cure of mental disorders in the Jewish population of New York City.

The board of directors are the following: Dr. Israel Strauss, President; Nelson I. Asiel, Vice-President; Mrs. Marcus Loewenstein, Secretary; Alfred Levinger, Treasurer. Dr. I. Abrahamson, Dr. A. A. Brill, Joseph F. Cullman, Jr., Sydney B. Erlanger, Dr. Bernard Glueck, Rabbi Sidney E. Goldstein, Dr. S. P. Goodhart, Edgar M. Leventritt, Judge Samuel D. Levy, Judge Aaron J. Levy, Sam A. Lewisohn, Harry W. Mack, Sidney Newborg, Dr. C. P. Oberndorf, Fred M. Stein, Mrs. Israel Strauss.

Dr. Jacob H. Kaplan of Cincinnati, Ohio, assumed his duties as rabbi of Temple Israel, Miami, Florida, recently.

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