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MS137_AJ95_150_2
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_ Occupations of the Men.—As has been before stated the rich Jews are merchants ; those of the middle classes are workmen, porters, pedlars, &c. Of the workpeople, there are only tailors, shoemakers, and tinmen. The other trades, such as carpenters, masons, smiths, metal-workers are left to the Greeks and Catholics. The women do not work, frequently for want of employment, and are thus reduced to gain their living by begging.
General Education.—From what has just been stated it is easily perceived that the education of the Israelites of Smyrna leaves much to be desired, and that, to raise it, the means afforded by charity are not sufficient. Much has hitherto been done at Smyrna to relieve the general body of the poor, but unfortunately no attempts have been made to improve their condition.
Benevolent Societies.—There is a society called MahaziM Aniyyim, whose object it is to provide for orphans and to teach the Tor ah to the children of the poor. The annual expenses of this society amount to 16,000 fcs. The members composing it are animated by the most praiseworthy zeal, and spare neither fatigue nor expense, but in spite of this they have not yet succeeded in effecting any permanent good. Thus they^ have a school attended by more than 500 pupils and under the direction of eight rabbins, but the instruction received there and even the moral teaching is almost nil. The children attending it are almost all bare-footed and dirty, and when at the age of fourteen they leave it, they are thrown entirely upon their own resources.
Under these circumstances it is quite natural that the misery, far from diminishing, becomes every day greater, and yet with the money expended by this Society and the means which it has at its disposal more important and useful results might be attained than those which it has hitherto accomplished.
The Society Mahazike Aniyyim possesses great influence among the Jews of Smyrna, and it would be easy for it to carry out any plans which it might conceive. It tried formerly to organise a small industrial school, but did not succeed in keeping it open long, and this experiment cost them about 2,500 francs.
Another Society, called Malbish Aroumim, provides clothing for families and especially for poor children. It is this charity which has dressed 50 of the orphans who attend the school of the Alliance.
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