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VII. The Jews of Damascus.
Some time ago, the attention of the Council was drawn to a conflict between the missionaries and the Jews of Damascus. It appeared that one of the former, an apostate from Judaism who was employed in a missionary school in teaching Hebrew, had endeavoured to bribe the children of Jewish parents to come to his school, by gifts of clothing, and in other ways. The Jewish ecclesiastical authorities of Damascus took the matter up, and pronounced a Cherem against the teacher, as well as against all Jewish parents who should allow their children to attend the school. The missionaries, incensed at this, proceeding, issued a circular, in which they menaced the Jews with the utmost vengeance, and threatened to excite popular feeling against them throughout Europe, through the instrumentality of the press and by every other means in their power. The Jews appealed to the Alliance of Paris, who asked for •our interposition , and a deputation of the Council sought and obtained an interview with the Earl of Shaftesbury, at which they laid all the facts before him. His Lordship carefully investigated the aflair, and gave assurances that the Jews should have no cause to dread the threats of the missionaries, and upon such assurance the matter was allowed to drop.
The action of the Anglo-Jewish Association was however pro ductive of good results as will be perceived from a letter addressed to the Council by the President of the Alliance Israelite Universelle and of which the following is a translation, g. Paris, 18th June, 1873.
The Chief Rabbi, Jacob Peretz, of Damascus, who had communicated to us the facts concerning the missionaries of that town, has begged us to thank you for your intervention with Lord Shaftesbury, and to convey to you the expression of his deep gratitude. The teacher attached to the school of the missionaries, has left the establishment which is no longer attended by anyone.
I am, Sir, yours faithfully,
AD. CREMIEUX, President.
(+, . . . Secretary.
To the Anglo-Jewish Association.
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