Jerusalem (Mar. 11)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mail Service)
The number of Jewish working men and women in Palestine totals 32,000 (20,500 men and 11,500 women). Of this number 22,500 are affiliated with the General Federation of Jewish Labor, 700 with “Hapoel Hamizrachi”, and 300 with the Yemenite Association. The workers are distributed as follows: 23,500 in the cities, 5,500 in the older Jewish villages (employed by farmers and planters) and 3.000 in the new cooperative settlements.
These figures were made known by Mr. Sprinzak, head of the Labor Department of the Palestine Zionist Executive, in a press conference here.
Much of the regular work of the Department has had to be curtail 1 in order to cope with the unemployment situation. Unemployed workers to the number of 8,150 were officially registered at the employment bureaus of the labor organizations on March 1st, the centres of unemployment being Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem. At the beginning of the present year, the Labor Department prepared a comprehensive program for combating unemployment by carrying out essential works in town and country, but the financial position of the Zionist Organization did not permit the Department to embark on such a program, Mr. Sprinzak stated.
The Labor Department was. therefore, obliged to alleviate unemployment and its effects by arranging emergency relief works, granting loans for the execution of public works, and by paying out unemployment doles. From October 1st, 1926, to the end of February, 1927, the Department spent Â£ 9.995.580 on emergency relief works, and granted loans for regular public works in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Tiberias, Afulah and vicinity, and Jerusalem amounting to Â£ 43,000. Weekly doles have been distributed during the fivemonth period in question, unmarried workers receiving 25 piastres a week and married workers 30 to 50 piastres. On March 1st, 1927, 5,500 persons were receiving doles.
Discussing the causes of the crisis, Mr. Sprinzak said that various efforts were being made to enlist large investments of capital for productive enterprizes in Palestine. A memorandum had been submitted to the Government in which it was suggested that certain essential public works should be initiated both for the relief of unemployment and for the permanent benefit of the country.
Reviewing the normal work of the Labor Department for which the sum of Â£ 60,000 was allocated in the 1926-27 budget of the Keren Hayesod. Mr. Sprinzak stated, the Labor Department has done much to establish Jewish agricultural workers in the older villages. A sum of Â£ 18,000 was allocated for this purpose in 1926-27, the number of such workers now totalling 5,300, of whom about 2,000 are employed in Petach Tikvah and 600 in Hederah. They were provided with small plots of land, houses, farm implements, etc., in an attempt to make them independent of unemployment or seasonal fluctuations in employment. The Agricultural Colonization Department of the Palestine Zionist Executive expended about Â£ 6.000 for the same purpose during 1926-27. The Labor Department also allocated Â£ 5,500 in 1926-27 to facilitate the establishment of girls’ cooperative groups in town and country, thus dealing with the very pressing problem of the absorption of immigrant girls into the economic life of Palestine. There are 10 girls’ groups of this type.
During the current year the Labor Department granted Â£ 3,000 (part of the Â£ 18,000 mentioned above) to the new agricultural cooperative workers’ contracting bureau as investment capital; Â£ 2,000 for the establishment of artisans, builders, carpenters, shoemakers, and is making efforts to transfer master workmen to the less congested towns; Â£ 2,000 to the “Haselah”, a Jewish stone-quarreying enterprise, in addition to sums granted previously by the Urban Colonization and Labor Departments and other smaller sums for various similar purposes, he declared.
JEWISH COMMUNAL ACTIVITIES
Organization of a permanent Tri-State Regional United Palestine Appeal, including the States of North and South Dakota and Minnesota, was effected at the first regional conference of Northwest Jewry for Palestine held in Minneapolis. Over 300 delegates attended the session which was addressed by Judge William M. Lewis and Lieutenant Gorernor W. I. Nolan.
A quota of $115,000 was acepted by the conference and allocated to the districts as follows: Minneapolis, $50,000; St. Paul, $30,000; Duluth. $10,000; Range cities. $5,000; other Minnesota communities. $5,000; North Dakota, $10,000 and South Dakota, $5,000.
A public reception was tendered in the evening to Judge Lewis and the delegates by the Zionist Organizations of St. Paul. Over 500 attended the reception which was presided over by Sol. Fligelman.
Nearly 5,000 new members have joined Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization, this year, according to an announcement from Hadassah headquarters, Membership campaigns are being carried on by chapters throughout the country.
Fourr new chapters of Hadassah were organized during March, bringing the total to 262.
A drive for funds for the erection of a new synagogue was launched Sunday night by the Aduth Jeshurun congregation of Collinwood Chio.
The new anney to the Orthodox Jewish Orphan Home of Cleveland, O., was opened last Monday.
The new building, a girls’ dormitory, provides accommodations for more than 50 girls.