[The purpose of the Digest is informative: Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does not indicate approval.–Editor.]
The report that Bernard Baron, formerly a Jewish immigrant in America and today one of the leading Jewish philanthropists in England, has invested $500,000 in the Ruttenberg Electrification works, is viewed as of great significance by the Jewish press.
“The drawing of such men as Baron into the Palestine work,” declares the “Jewish Daily News” (Aug. 25), “is an important accomplishment for which much time and effort should be devoted. And Dr. Weizmann deserves recognition for having interested Mr. Baron in Palestine.
“The only way,” the paper continues “that new recruits were secured for Palestine has been hitherto through the arousing of the national Jewish sentiments. This in fact is the best way, but there are Jews who can be attracted in other ways, by interesting them in what the Jews are doing and creating in Palestine.
“Such an enterprise as the Ruttenberg Electrification works can gain followers even among non-Zionists. This concession is now several years old and is considered a great achievement on the part of the Jews. Up till now, however, it has not even begun to operate (the Ruttenberg stations in Tel Aviv and Haifa are not connected with the water power project). The moneys from the Zionist funds cannot be used for this purpose. It is only through investments by wealthy Jews that the work will be carried out. That is why Mr. Baron’s step is of such importance.”
The hope that Mr. Baron’s act will serve to arouse other wealthy Jews in England to emulate his example, is expressed by the “Jewish Morning Journal.”
“Will Mr. Baron, the former cigar maker of New York, teach the wealthy Jews of England to give larger sums than hitherto for Jewish causes?” the paper asks. “He has been offering one proof after another of what a wealthy person can accomplish with his money, and being a double immigrant, first from Russia and then from America, and giving large sums for Palestine, he supplies a hint which, sooner or later, they will have to heed. The native British Jews, belonging to families that have lived in that country for several generations and have really become ingrown into England’s higher social spheres and in British imperial politics, should, according to their means, be doing more, much more than Mr. Baron, and yet they do much less nothing to speak of,” the paper asserts.