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Greek Jews Seek to Emigrate; J.D.C. Opens Emigration Office

September 22, 1953
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The reopening by the Joint Distribution Committee of its emigration office in Athens was announced here today by Moses A. Leavitt, executive vice-chairman of the JDC. The new office will provide aid to those among Greece’s 7,000 Jews who seek new homes abroad.

Resettlement opportunities for Greek Jews look particularly hopeful at this time, Mr. Leavitt declared. He pointed to passage by the U.S. Congress of the 1953 Refugee Relief Act, which authorizes the admission of 209,000 aliens into the United States within the next three years. A special provision in the Act, he noted, permits 17,000 native Greeks to enter the U.S. He added, however, that the regulations which determine how the Act will be administered have not as yet been promulgated.

Mr. Leavitt also announced the appointment of a chief emigration officer to carry out the expanded resettlement program under the supervision of Haim Benrubi of Athens, the JDC’s honorary representative in Greece. In charge of the migration program will be Mrs. Lydia Eskenazi, a native of Greece and an expert on migration matters. Last month she participated in a JDC emigration conference in Geneva attended by JDC field workers, U.S. emigration officials and intergovernmental refugee and resettlement specialists.

With funds provided in the U.S. through the United Jewish Appeal, the JDC helps prospective migrants complete the necessary consular formalities, gives advice and counsel and provides other assistance. Approximately 75 percent of all Jews emigrating from Europe are sponsored by the JDC.

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