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November 04, 1977 - Image 21

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1977-11-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS Friday, November 4, 1977 21

Jewish Communities of the Riviera

BY BEN G. FRANK

(Copyright 1977. JTA. Inc.)

MONTE CARLO—Jewish
life in the south of France
and Monaco has changed
markedly in the last decade.
No longer are there the dif-
ficulties merely of settling
in Jewish immigrants from
North Africa.
Today. the problems
being discussed among Jew-
ish leaders in Monte Carlo
and Nice are: inter-'
marriage. whether it's 33 or
48 percent; assimilation in a
country which assimilates
Jews faster than any other
in the world; educating
youth; and how to best
organize this community of
more than 35,000 Jews who
live along the Riveria's
warm shores of the Mediter-
ranean from Menton to St.
Tropez.
For any visitor to the Cote
d'Azur must come away
with the feeling that there is
a Jewish presence in
France which has a total
Jewish population of about
700,000 Jews and is the
fourth largest Jewish com-
munity in the world after
the U.S., the USSR and
Israel.

Jews began coming to the
south of France en masse
back in the 1950s and 1960s
in one of the most exciting
movements of immigration
in contemporary European
history. Wave after wave
they came, Jews from
Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia.

These Sephardic Jews so
revitalized and revolution-
ized French Jewry that
some have called the pre-
sent community, "The Sec-
ond French Jewry."

Many Algerian Jews
chose the Riviera because
of the sun-drenched climate.
the red-tiled roofs and the
brilliant gardens—all nos-
talgically reminding them
of their former home which
they left in the early 1960s
when the French departed.
When Algeria became
independent in 1962, it was
natural for these Algerian
Jews who were French citi-
zens, French-educated and
French-speaking, to resettle
on the mainland. As citi-
zens, Jews from Algeria
could immediately rejoin
the civil service as postal
employes, customs officials
and civil servants. Many
found employment in the
travel and tourism industry
in this delightful climate.
Take Monte Carlo, for
instance, where there are
exciting new developments
taking place. A group of
Americans, Canadians,
Englishmen, many retired,
have added vitality to the
Sephardic synagogue
located at 15 Avenue de la
Costa, Monte Carlo.

Half of the congregation is
English-speaking and Ash-
kenazic. The Ashkenazim
have joined with their Seph-
ardic brothers in attempting

to better organize the con-
mundane
in
gregation
organizational methods,
such as a bulletin, notices,
pledge cards, and a commu-
nity center and activities for
youth. The latter is one of
the serious problems facing
the Monte Carlo Jewish
community: how to get
proper group leaders for
young Jewish teenagers and
how to organize large Jew-
ish youth activities.

called
meeting,
mass
"Twelve Hours for Israel."
More than 100,000 persons
attended the event in Paris.

Nearby Nice, of course, is
the hub of Jewish life in the
Riviera. More than 20,000
Jews reside in this city of
more than 400,000, with
more than a half dozen
synagogues, a community
center, Talmud Torahs, and
even a Hebrew bookstore,
the Libraire Hebraique
Tanya. Also exciting is the
discovery that on the Ave-
nue Jean Medecin in Nice
one can browse in a com-
mercial bookstore and find
a number of Jewish books
on Jewish history and
Israel.
Jews are involved in
French politics here; sev-
eral are on the City Council
of Nice.
The Jews in the south of
France are staunch suppor-
ters of Israel and often join
their brothers and sisters in
the north in representations,
to the government. I,nst
year, for example, Jews
from Nice and Marseilles
and other cities joined in a

President Valery Giscard
d'Estaing and Premier Ray-
mond Barre have invited
delegations of French Jews
to their official residences
which caused observers to
eye the meetings as
attempts by government
leaders to woo the Jewish
electorate.
North African Jews have
been quite successful in the
south of France. There are
many Jewish doctors and
lawyers in Nice and many
of the finest boutiques and
shops are owned and man-
aged by French Jews from
Algeria.

Politicization Called Cause for U.S.
Withdrawal fromWorld Labor Unit

UNITED NATIONS
(JTA)—President Carter's
announcement Tuesday that
the United States was with-
drawing from the Inter-
national Labor Organization
because of its continued pol-
iticization of issues was
greeted with regret by top
United Nations officials.
Francis Blanchard, the
ILO's director general, told
a press conference Wednes-
day he was surprised and
sorry and hoped the U.S.
will not remove itself per-
manently from this great
endeavor. - He said that
like' many others. I had
expected that an objective
and dispassionate exam-
ination would, without any
possible doubt, have led the
U.S. to recognize that the
ILO had remained faithful
to its traditions."
President Carter, in a
statement read Tuesday by
Secretary of Labor Ray
Marshall, said, -The United
States remains ready to
return whenever the ILO is
again true to its proper prin-
ciples and procedures."

-

-

The President imple-
mented a threat made by
then Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger two years
ago because of belief that
the ILO was becoming a
political forum for , anti-
Israel and pro-Communist
moves at the expense of its
task to improve the condi-
tions for workers around the
world.

According to sources in
Washington. the move was

opposed by Secretary of
State Cyrus Vance and Car-
ter's National Security
Adviser Zbigniew Brze-
zinski, who along with West
European countries had
urged the U.S. to give the
ILO another year to' make
reforms. However, both the
AFL-CIO and the United
States Chamber of Com-
merce which form the
American delegation to the
ILO along with the govern-
ment supported the
withdrawal.
Sen. Jacob Javits (R-
N.Y.) said he was one of a
group of Senators who had
opposed the move. think
we have given...those who
are the enemies of freedom
a much greater opportu-
nity." he said.
Blanchard told a press
conference Wednesday that
"I think it is very proper
that the ILO deal with politi-
cal problems only to the
extent that those problems
have to do with the specific
task of the ILO, which is the
improvement of the condi-
tions of workers." Mean-
while, he said, he was work-
ing on a contingency plan to
take in account the U.S.
pullout, effective Saturday,
which will mean an end to
the $20 million contribution
to ILO, one-fourth of the
organization's budget.
UN Secretary General

Kurt Waldheim expressed
"deep regret and concern"
over the American move.
He criticized it as a "retro-
gressive step for the prin-
ciple of collective responsi-

bility and from the goal of
universality in UN bodies."

U.S. difficulties, which
had been increasing with
the ILO over the years.
reached a peak on June 15,
1975 when the ILO admitted
a representtive of the Pales-
tine Liberation Organization
as an official observer. This
caused a storm of protest
throughout the U.S. and on
Nov. 6 of that year Kissi-
nger wrote to Blanchard
that the U.S. will withdraw
in two years unless the
organization returns to its
normal activities and halts
the process of politicization.
Meanwhile, the Israeli
government was confused
by the U.S. decision. An offi-
cial announcement by the
Foreign Ministry indicated
Israel has not yet made up
her mind whether she would
follow the Americans.

The statement described
the American pullout as
"significant." It meant the
withdrawal of the largest
employer "and the largest
workers unions" from the
ILO.

However, Israel's policy
for years has been not to
desert international organi-
zations. Israel needs every
opportunity to explain her
positions abroad, a Jerusa-
lem source said.
The second consideration
is, while the U.S. can pull
out of an organization and
get back in with ease, Israel
may very well find she may
want to return, but will not
be able to do so under exist-
ing circumstances in the
international arena.

Like their co-religionists
in Paris, Jews in the south
of France will play an
important role in the
French national elections
next spring, for already, as
reported by the Jewish
Telegraphic Agency, the
French government has
renewed its dialogue with
French Jewry.

-14

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