The stabilization of economic conditions in Palestine through the appropriation of an emergency budget of Â£140,000 for the relief of unemployment and the reorganization of all Zionist activities in Palestine along lines of greater coordination and efficiency, will result from the decisions made by the recent meeting of the Actions Committee, General Council of the Zionist Organization, declared Louis Lipsky, president of the Zionist Organization of America, on his return Friday from London, where he attended the Actions Committee meeting.
In a statement to the “Jewish Daily Bulletin”, Mr. Lipsky outlined the work of the Actions Committee.
“The General Council of the Zionist Organization,” he declared, “met in London to consider the economic problems of the Jewish National Home in Palestine. The report submitted by the Zionist Administration in Palestine gave indication of a grave unemployment situation in the cities, especially in Tel Aviv, due to the unusually large Jewish immigration of 1925, which had not been absorbed. This immigration, numbering about 40,000, had come into the country filled with hope but provided with inadequate means and not equipped to undertake pioneer industry or commerce and unfitted largely for agricultural pursuits. While their means lasted, the Jewish cities of Palestine experienced all the convulsive activity of a boom period. Houses were built, land was bought, petty industries and trading were initiated. Many of the new settlers came from Poland. They had left behind them in the land of their nativity property and bank resources upon which they expected to draw in case of need. The economic collapse of Poland brought about a financial crisis in Palestine, which soon spread to all the Jewish communities.
“To meet this situation, which was not of its creation, the Zionist Administration attempted to absorb those capable of labor in public works, but it had been provided with unsufficient means. Several thousand workmen from the cities were transferred to agricultural labor in the old Jewish colonies which, in spite of the crisis in the cities, were in a prosperous condition. These remedial efforts did not avail to stem the tide of the growing unemployment. The Zionist administration was forced to begin the payment of doles in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem and Afule. There were over 5,000 dole takers supported to the extent of granting them from 25 to 50 piastres a week per person.
“The Zionist Executive, headed by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, proposed first, to undertake at once to do away with the dole system in Haifa, Jerusalem and Afule by providing, in cooperation with other agencies, public works to absorb about 3,000 workmen. It was agreed that efforts should be exerted also in Tel Aviv so that not later than October 1st the dole system should be abolished. In the meantime, an mergency budget of 140,000 pounds is being provided, which will probably be augmented by an emergency loan which will enable the Zionist Organization to investigate conditions and propose a new plan of work which will make impossible the recurrence of economic crises.
“To that end a special Zionist committee has been appointed with ample powers to undertake at once the coordination of all Zionist activities, the preparation of the budget for the year 1927-28, and the submission to the next Zionist Congress, which is to be held in August in Basle, a reorganization plan for adoption. On this committee are two Americans, Samuel J. Rosensohn and Emanuel Neumann. The other members are Harry Sacher, S. Schocken, Berthold Feiwel and Dr. Kasteliansky.
“These preparations are intended to pave the way for the larger International Commission of experts, who, under the leadership of Sir Alfred Mond, Felix Warburg and Dr. Lee K. Frankel, are to undertake a thorough investigation of Palestine conditions, to submit its report later in the year to the Council of the Jewish Agency The sending of this Commission was made possible through the agreement reached in America by Louis Marshall, representing the non-partisan Jewish group, and Dr. Chaim Weizmann, representing the Zionist Organization,” Mr. Lipsky concluded.
A detailed report of the deliberations of the Actions Committee will be rendered by Mr. Lipsky at the special Palestine conference which takes place today at the Hotel Pennsylvania.
A synagogue will be erected in Dallas, Texas, by the Central Orthodox Congregation. The cost is estimated at $150,000.