Our Foreign News Letter

Nationalization is the keyword of the policy put into practice by the B’nai B’rith House in Mexico, where are received all the Jewish immigrants. During the past few weeks the influx of newcomers has swelled perceptibly, increasing from an average of fifty on a boat to even a hundred and over.

This is accounted for to a great extent by the publicity given the invitation of President-elect Calles, to the stranded Jews, for colonization in Mexico; while the fact that 80 per cent of the immigrants were not stranded in European and Asiatic ports but come directly from their home countries, points to the conclusion that the thing that brings them is the favorable reports of their friends and relatives already established in Mexico.

The immigration of Jews into Mexico, while steadily growing, still is not the sudden inrush of thousands which was feared and was opposed by part of the Mexican press. It is recognized that the logical method is a constant small stream, since thus there is time for them to adapt themselves, and Mexicanize themselves, and thereby aid in adapting the newcomers. Jewish teachers for Jews is the solution of most of their difficulties, and the key to a future prosperity for them and the assurance of value to the country.

Recognizing the necessity of nationalization, the same process of Americanization that has been thoroughly put in practice in the United States is being begun here, but with a Mexican point of view. The B’nai B’rith and social workers for the Jews are devoting themselves to two big things: first, attending to the material necessities of the immigrants, giving them food and a place to sleep, but most of all procuring them a way to get these things for themselves. The employment branch is by far the most important, since it has the grave charge of finding work for the immigrants in their trades and professions, to keep them from all becoming peddlers and small merchants, a thing dangerous and undesirable.

Recognizing that the desirable thing is to spread the newcomers, to find them work in their own lines so that they can thus more consistently adjust themselves to the country and aid in building it up, the employment bureau works along these lines, and has thus far succeeded in placing tailors, carpenters, shoemakers, electricians, mechanics, dentists-for it is a universal error that the Jewish immigrants are not industrial workers but commercial men. The majority of them have been trained under the Eurpean apprentice system, and the desirable thing for them would be the establishing of more industries, a thing predicted for the next year, already an admitted coming boom period.

Secondarily, however, but still important, to the necessity of work, is the necessity of making Mexican citizens out of the settlers. Instead of coming with the hope of eventually reaching the United States, as used to be the case with the majority of arrivals, they now come here with the intention of settling, of making a home. They are helped to become acquainted with the country by being taught Spanish, another highly important branch of the work of the B’nai B’rith. Little by little they learn the laws and customs of the country, and they are encouraged and taught to accept them, just as in the United States the same is done in the schools. Mexicanization, after ministering to the material welfare of the Jewish-colonists, is the intentional work of the immigration agencies, and in this they are encouraged by the government, anxious and willing to bring in new blood to give an impulse to the old.

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