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Libyan Jewry’s 2,500-year History is Virtually Ended, JDC Chief Reports

February 16, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The 2,500 year-old history of the Jewish community in Libya has Just about come to an end, Louis D. Horwitz, director general of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee reported here today. Mr. Horwitz noted that of 35,000 Jews in Libya in 1948, barely 200 remain there today and most of those are likely to leave soon.

He said that the biggest exodus occurred following Israel’s war for independence in 1948 when 30,000 Libyan Jews emigrated to other countries, with JDC assistance, to escape Arab hostility. The mass departure was repeated on a smaller scale since last June’s Arab-Israeli war. Of 3,100 Jews in Libya then, 2,900 took refuge in Italy. Only 600 were self-supporting, Mr. Horwitz said. The rest required assistance which was provided by the JDC Jointly with the Italian Jewish community and the United Hias Service. At present, the JDC official reported, only 450 Jews remain on the relief roles. About 900 have left Italy for other countries and the remainder have found the means of livelihood, he said.

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