Moscow (May. 17)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
Recognition for the service and philanthropy of Felix M. Warburg, chairman of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, was expressed by one of the new Jewish settlements in the Ukraine, at solemn exercises held yesterday.
Djankoy, a settlement adjacent to the colonies Novy Put and Novaya Zarya, near Krivoy Rog, was renamed Felix Warburg.
Mr. Warburg laid the cornerstone for the first intermediate school in the Jewish colonies, established at Novy Put.
A report of the events during Mr. Felix M. Warburg’s visit to the Jewish colonies in the Ukraine, was made public yesterday by the National Headquarters of the United Jewish Campaign on the basis of a cable received yesterday from Moscow by David A. Brown, national chairman.
Mr. Warburg and James H. Becker, accompanied by Dr. Bernard A. Kahn and Dr. Joseph A. Rosen, on their arrival in the colonies of the Cherson district, where the new Jewish “autonomous region” was recently established, were given a tremendous ovation by the Jewish settlers whose entrance upon a new permanent livelihood as productive workers on the soil was made possible by the aid of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, of which Mr. Warburg is the chairman.
The travellers came from Moscow first to the Cherson settlements, and thence to the colonies of the Krivoy-Rog district, where they were received with equal enthusiasm. The inhabitants of Novy Put and Novaya Zaria, both recently established settlements in this section, expressed the desire to have their colonies renamed in honor of Mr. Warburg. In Novy Put the visitors officiated at the laying of a cornerstone for a high school, one of the significant first landmarks in the effort for the establishment of a modern educational system for the children of the twentieth century Jewish pioneers on the Russian steppes.
The establishment of schools and other facilities for an adequate community life goes hand in hand with the agricultural and economic aid provided by the Joint Distribution Committee, which operates in Russia under the name of Agro-Joint, with the official sanction and cooperation of the Russian government. The agricultural colonization program was begun a little over two and a half years ago when the great spontaneous “back to the soll” movement took start among the Jews of Russia, as an escape from the dwindling trading occupations of the city and the crushing political proscriptions leveled against this class under the new economic organization of the country. Its purpose was to give organized direction and support for expansion to what has been hailed by authoritative social students as an epochal new development offering revolutionizing potentialities for the future economic structure of Jewish life in Eastern Europe. More than 10,000 families have already taken up farmsteads in the Ukraine, White Russia and Crimea, on vast virgin tracts comprising over 700,000 acres whose prewar value is estimated at over $12,000,000. In addition to the free gift of the land, the government furnishes free transportation and free lumber for building, and tax and military service exemption for the first three years.
The aid provided by American subsidies through the Agro-Joint includes loans to settlers to enable them to make the transition from the cities to the interior and to build them homes, purchase of farm implements, seed and live-stock, well drilling and road building, organization of farm cooperatives, and the maintenance of agricultural experiment stations and a staff of field experts to supervise instruction of the colonists in their new vocation. The work of the Agro-Joint is under the direction of Dr. Joseph A. Rosen, a noted American agricultural scientist, who carried out the agricultural relief program of the American Relief Administration during the great famine in the Volga region in 1921-22. Dr. Rosen is accompanying Mr. Warburg and his party on their tour of the colonies.
With 100 new settlements already established, thousands of more families, according to Dr. Rosen have registered their desire to take up land and are anxiously waiting to be enabled to go-Further development of the work depends, however, on the amount of money which the Agro-Joint will have at its disposal. The J. D. C.’s appropriation for Russia calls for $2,000,000 for this year, of which $1,500,000 is for agricultural purposes.
Whether this sum will actually be forthcoming depends on the payment of pledges made to the $25,000,000 United Jewish Campaign, all other resources of the J. D. C. being now exhausted. With the spring season now at its height, when the ground must be prepared for sowing, it is particularly vital that the funds for carrying on the work should be assured, and the campaign leaders have been compelled to issue an emergency call urging local leaders throughout the country to borrow on funds pledged to the state and city drives, to make the minimum amounts urgently needed not only for Russia but for all of Eastern Europe available for the transmission to Europe at the earliest possible moment.
ORTHODOX LEADERS SAIL FOR PALESTINE
A party of Orthodox leaders including Rabbi M. S. Margolies, who recently celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday; Harry Fischel and Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, secretary of the Central Relief Committee, sailed last night on the Berengaria for Palestine. Rabbi Margolies will spend some time in Palestine. He is accompanied by Mrs. Margolies.
Before his departure Mr. Fischel stated that he intends to make a large contribution to traditional Jewish institutions in Palestine.
The party was joined by Rabbi Jacob W. Redelheim, a member of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, and Rabbi of Congregation Agudath B’nai Eretz Israel, Henry Street, New York. Rabbi Redelheim lived in Palestine twenty-five years ago, before he came to America.
A kosher kitchen was provided for the party on the steamer.