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Republic occupying the major eastern section of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. Before 1940, few Jews settled in the Dominican Republic, and those who did assimilated rapidly. For a brief period, it became one of the bright spots on the darkening horizons of European Jewry. At a time when most nations were severely restricting immigration, Generalissimo Rafael Trujillo announced that the Dominican Republic would welcome Jewish refugees. Speaking at an intergovernmental conference on refugees at Evian, France, in 1938, Trujillo offered full economic assistance and “equality of opportunities and of civil, legal, and economic rights” to all colonists. A farm colony was immediately established at Sosua in the Dominican Republic, and plans were made for transferring refugees from Europe. The outbreak of World War II, however, interfered with the project. Communications were difficult, and Jews could not escape from the countries under Nazi domination. Only 1,200 managed to reach the Dominican Republic. Of these, some 300 stayed on after the end of World War II. The Jewish population today is 100, living in Santo Domingo and Sosua. There is one synagogue in each of these cities. The Jewish Congregation of the Dominican Republic is the central Jewish organization recognized by the government.

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