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South African Jewish Population Wanes

May 31, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Although the South African Jewish community has increased slightly in numbers over the past two decades, the Jewish percentage of the white population has steadily declined as a result of a lower birth rate than the general white population and a lack of increase through immigration, a Jewish scholar said here.

Mervyn Cohen, a lecturer in statistics at Witwatersrand University, told the Congress of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies that there was a higher percentage of aged among South African Jews than among the white non-Jewish population. He noted that there were 117,000 Jews in South Africa according to the 1970 census.

The 1960 census listed 114,501 Jews and the 1951 figure was 108,497. But these figures represent a decline of the Jewish percentage in the white population from 4.1 percent in 1951 to 3.7 percent in 1960 and 3.2 percent in 1970, Cohen said.

Brig, Haim Tavori, commander of the Jerusalem Police, reported that there has been no increase in crimes of violence and armed robbery in this city during the past year although such crimes have increased in other parts of Israel.

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