Solution to Jewish Emigration Problem is Sought by Hicem
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Solution to Jewish Emigration Problem is Sought by Hicem

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(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

The plans of the “Hicem”, the new organization formed by the Hias, Ica, and Emigdirekt to cope with the problems of Jewish emigration were outlined by M. Louis Oungre, general manager of the Jewish Colonization Association, in an interview with the representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The “Hicem” will be a sort of “Jewish Emigration Trust”, which will handle all the important phases of the emigration problem.

“The idea of unifying the work of the Jewish emigration organizations,” M. Oungre said, “was first mooted some years ago at the Brussels Conference. But the idea was given up because of certain differences of opinion. It was obvious, however, that sooner or later unification would become inevitable.

“The restrictions on emigration have become more severe than ever, and the need for emigration is more acute,” M. Oungre continued. “The Jewish emigration organizations must face the consequences. It is necessary, in the first place, to establish a closer contact between the various institutions and the emigrants in order to save the emigrants from being imposed upon and to save them the expense of useless voyages and unnecessary suffering. To do this, it is necessary that emigrants should be kept well informed with regard to the possibilities existing in the countries to which they desire to emigrate, and that before they leave their own country, they should be given the necessary preparation to enable them to adapt themselves easily to the economic conditions in the countries of immigration. Further, it has become imperative to do something to obviate by means of unity and coordination the waste of energy and money caused by different emigration organizations working separately. From this point of view, the agreement arrived at between the three organizations must be regarded as being entirely a happy achievement. The Hicem is now engaged on the work of constituting a new central emigration organization.

“Inquiries will be made into the possibilities existing in the new countries of immigration, and conversations will be carried on with the respective Governments. It will be obviously easier for a centralized and unified organization, representing all the Jewish institutions engaged in emigration and immigration activity to conduct these inquiries and negotiations. Then will follow the problem of settling emigrants in the new countries, and the adoption of measures for their protection when they arrive in the new countries. The new organization, Hicem, proposes to establish Shelters in the ports of immigration where at present there is no accommodation whatever, and to open employment bureaus and loan offices. The new organization will in effect, seek to provide intending settlers with all the assistance they require upon their arrival.

“Further, the Hicem will engage in preparing emigrants for admission into the new countries, by adapting them to the conditions of the country to which they desire to emigrate. In this regard, before intending emigrants are allowed to leave the country of their birth they will be taught the language of the country of immigration, and an occupation which will enable them to obtain their means of livelihood, and to set up a home for themselves in the new country,” he said.

“The Hicem includes in its scope of activity, the protection of the emigrants while they are on their way to their new homeland and will give them every assistance in their journeys by land or sea and will provide them with any juridical or consular aid of which they may stand in need.

“The openings for emigration at the present time are not entirely negligible. There are big opportunities provided by the Latin Republics of South America and for certain types of emigrants in Canada, South Africa and Palestine. The Hicem will devote itself to the task of facilitating admittance to countries where at present Jewish immigration has been reduced to a minimum, but which are, however, open to receive quite a considerable number of Jews.

“In conclusion, I think it necessary to add that while assisting movements of Jewish migration, the new organization consideres it essential at the same time to control and regulate the migration movements. The Ica will continue its present activity in the direction of colonization and technical instruction in Eastern Europe (Poland, Russia and Bessarabia) and elsewhere. It will bring to the new unified organization not only its very considerable financial assistance, but also its thirty years of experience, the benefit of its cordial relations with the various Governments of the countries in which it has been conducting relief activity, and the assistance of the numerous emigration committees working in many countries under the direction of the Ica. And last but not least, the Ica will place at the disposal of the selected migrants who possess the necessary qualifications and are recommended by the Hicem, the lands on its colonies in South America and Canada, where the selected agriculturists will be provided with all the elements which will contribute to their success, by enabling them to settle on the land and become productive citizens,” M. Oungre said.

An appeal for support in the campaign for $500,000 by the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society to facilitate the settlement on a self-supporting basis of Jews who are emigrating from Europe to countries other than the United States, has been issued by representatives of leading Jewish fraternal orders and labor organizations composing the National Advisory Council of Hias.

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