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Jews in France Urged to Intensify Aid to Refugees from Algeria

September 19, 1962
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An appeal to world-wide Jewry in general, and to the Jewish community in France particularly, to aid the integration and settlement in this country of the more than 100,000 Jewish refugees who have come here from Algeria was issued today by the Fonds Social Juif Unifie, major Jewish welfare organization in this country, following the conclusion of a two-day special conference of French Jewry, held at Grenoble.

The FSJU directorate announced at the same time that the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, through its immigration department and Youth Aliyah, has offered to “give shelter” to all Algerian Jewish refugees who wish to settle in the Jewish State. “All such immigrants,” stated the Agency offer, “will be assured work and lodging.” Israeli work contracts, according to the Agency offer, could be furnished to prospective immigrants while they are still in France.

Israel, the Jewish Agency informed FSJU, is prepared to grant scholarships to 100 university students from the ranks of Algerian Jewish refugees here, and to furnish free high school education to all Jewish refugee children between the ages of 12 and 17. Ordinarily, high school education in Israel is not free.

Julien Samuel, director-general of the FSJU, reiterated here today, upon his return from the extraordinary sessions at Grenoble, that the influx of the refugees from Algeria has created “extraordinary problems.” One of these problems, he said, is centered about the fact that “many of the Algerian repatriates are still closely bound to their ancestral religion and are pious in their religious practices.” For that reason, he said, the French synagogues will have to play a heavy role in the efforts to integrate the refugees into Jewish communal life in this country.”

Mr. Samuel particularly besought French Jewry to “contribute heavily to a special fund established to aid the tens of thousands of the refugees who are special hardship cases.” He thanked the Joint Distribution Committee for the financial aid given the French Jewish community since the problem of the refugees from Algeria started.

“The Grenoble conference, ” said Mr. Samuel, “has demonstrated the determination of French Jewry, as well as Jews outside this country, to implement concrete plans which should result in the integration of the Algerian Jewish refugees into French life at the earliest possible time.”

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