Paris (Dec. 28)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mail Service)
The educational activities of the Alliance Israelite Universelle in the Orient were described at the annual session of the Central Committee of the Alliance Israelite Universelle held here.
“Our school work continues to develop in Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia,” the report states. “Our resources are insufficient; increased, we certainly could double the number of students everywhere.
“In Persia, results gained in our schools in Teheran, Ispahan, Hamadan and Kirmancha are the same results as formerly produced in Constantinople, Smyrna and Andrinople. Jewish Persian communities plead to have us endow Alliance schools. For this, both resources and personnel are lacking. We have encouraged spontaneous local efforts and allowed a limited credit in Yezd, Bouroughuerd, Golpaygan, which are visited and controlled by our directors, until such time as we can send our professore Persian communities, despite their poverty, are making important sacrifices so as to have schools. The Jewish population in Persia hardly totals more than 50,000 souls, scattered in about 30 localities, ten of which boast between 1,000 to 3,000 souls. Our efforts must henceforth be confined to these latter.
“Before the war, we subsidized a number of shcools in Mesopotamia, in and about Bagdad: in Bassorah, Amara, Hanckin, Hille, Kerkouk, Suleimanie and Mossoul. Contacts were broken by the war which placed this region under English mandate or protecorate. The problem here is not so much economic as political.
“It is particularly in Morocco, the report continues, that our efforts have succeeded. Construction of new large school centers in Fez and Casablanca will double and even triple the number of students here; the intended building of schools in other localities will secure similar results. Additional teachers are necessary. All of the sixteen graduated teachers of our Normal Schools in Paris had to be sent to Morocco. Some of them function in the interior, amid
“Our thirty-two schools in Morocco total around 7,500 students; those of Palestine. 2,400; of Syria. 2,300; of Mesopotamia, 3,800; of Tunis, 3,300; of Persia. 2,800 of Greece, 3,000. There are other groups in Egypt. Bulgaria, etc. The total is around 35,000 children. In many of these schools, we have established centers for relieving hunger among the poor, through the endowment of a budget of more than 100,000 franes.
“Extra-school activities, for boys and girls, embrace the teaching of manual trades.
“Our professional school in Jerusalem totals 70 apprentices, of whom 30 live there. Orders are being received despite the actual economic crisis, aconomic crisis. Vacancies here are ardently sought.
“Under the excellent direction of Mr. Grans, our farm school in Jafia enters a period of prosperity. It has 180 resident students, more than half of them the children of colonists established in Palestine. An important addition of youths has recently been received: their parents are still in Poland, and pay something toward the cost of instruction. Expenses notwithstanding are high; each student costs Â£E82 annually, or nearly 8,000 franes.
“We must call attention to the increased costs of administration due to the exchange and the high cost of living. Adjustment has to be made to professors in Mesopotamia. Persia, Syria. Palestine, Egypt and Spanish Morocco Increased expenses has failed to tally with any proportionate increase of revenue. In spite of this serious situation, many new projects have been undertaken.
“Expense are reduced to a minimum and we must sensibly face the actual situation without understating present difficulties, but with the hope of economic readjustment which will permit us to extend our radius of activity without any preoccupations other than those of the good we have undertaken,” the report states.
ONE-SIXTH OF ONE PERCENT LOSSES DURING YEAR;ALTRUISTIC LOAN SOCIETIES SPRING UP THROUGHOUT COUNTRY
The sum of $18,028,284 has been loaned by the Hebrew Free Loan Society to 465,000 persons since the inception of the Society, Julius J. Dukas, for twenty-two years president, announced at the thirty-fifth annual meeting of the Society, held Sunday at its main office, 108 Second Avenue, New York City.
These loans have been made within an average time of 48 hours after receipt of the applications and more than 96 per cent have been paid back by the borrowers themselves, rather than the endorsers, with losses during the past year of only one sixth of one per cent, Mr. Dukas reported. “Most men are honest and will pay their debts if afforded the opportunity to earn money with which to repay their obligations,” he declared.
As a result of the success and example of the New York Society, Mr. Dukas pointed out that Jewish free loan societies have sprung up throughout the country until now there is scarcely a city without one. He further emphasized the fact that not a dollar of loanable capital has been lost to the society in its thirty-five years of existence and that this capital, now amounting to $402,527.89 was loaned out approximately three times over within the past year, the total loans made to 11,769 persons, aggregating $1,221,680 in 1926. The Society’s capital was, however, insufficient to the demands upon it and in order not to turn away worthy applicants some $55,000 on which the Society had to pay interest, was borrowed from the banks in order to reloan it without interest to applicants.
Mr. Dukas made the statement that the size of the average loan is constantly mounting and now approximates $100 whereas a few years ago loans of $5 and $10 constituted the majority of the applications. The maximum loan authorized by the Society’s by-laws is now $500.