Jacob Billikopf, executive director of the Federation of Jewish Charities in Philadelphia and member of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, sailed yesterday on the “Hamburg” for Europe to visit Russia.
When interviewed by a representative of the “Jewish Daily Bulletin” as to the purpose of his trip to Russia, Mr. Billikopf stated:
“I am going to spend one month in Russia as an unofficial observer, visiting the scenes of Jewish agricultural settlement, the colonies in the Crimea and the Ukraine. I shall make an open-minded canvas among the individual farmers and settlers for their views, with the thought in the back of my mind of the objections raised in settling Jews on the land in Russia. As one who participated in the United Jewish Campaign, I want to convince myself of the facts.
“I am frank to say that I shall not be ‘piloted.’ I shall permit myself a roving commission to go wherever I have reason or information that interesting developments may be observed. My experiences as impartial chairman in the settlement of many disputes in the clothing industry of New York City, convince me that within fifteen years the Jewish proletariat will have died out, because of the trend of occupations away from the callings of their parents by Jewish children. This will move me to question Jews on farms in Russia whether in ordering their family lives they are able to visualize a second generation of Jewish farmers succeeding them,” Mr. Billikopf declared.
On the eve of Mr. Billikopf’s departure a farewell dinner was given at the Majestic Hotel by Samuel C. Lamport. Among those present were: Judge Julian W. Mack, Israel Unterberg, A. H. Fromenson, James Marshall, David Bressler, Elisha Friedman. Dr. Solomon Lowenstein, H. H. Leibowitz, Prof. Morris R. Cohen. Dr. Lee K. Frankel, Alexander Lamport, Bernard Semel, Moses H. Bressler and Zachary Heller.
Delegations of clothing manufacturers and employees of the clothing industry were present.