The Jewish colonization in Russia will not be effected by the general political complications in which Russia is involved, was the statement made by Dr. Joseph Rosen, the head of the Agrojoint, the Agency of the Joint Distribution Committee in Russia. who arrived on the steamer Albert Ballin for a short stay in America.
“Two days after I left Moscow on my way to America, the Government allotted additional 150,000 actes of land for Jewish settlement in Crimea,” Dr. Rosen stated in an interview with a representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
“There is no fear of anti-Semitism in the colonies,” Dr. Rosen added. “The Russian peasants have no bad feeling against the Jewish colonists.”
Emphasizing that the Jewish colonization work in Russia is the only solution for the economic problems of the Jewish population in the large cities. Dr. Rosen stated that those Jewish colonies which are now in their third year of existence no longer ask nor receive aid from the Agrojoint, except for establishing schools and for organizing farm cooperatives.
“In the meantime the situation of the Jews in the cities is getting worse,” Dr. Rosen continued. “Russia is no place for traders because the Government trade control is growing.”
Interesting details on how the White Russian Government reclassified about 200 towns in White Russia into villages, thus giving their Jewish inhabitants the prerogatives of peasants in taking land for settlement, were told by Dr. Rosen.
“These towns are predominantly inhabited by Jews,” Dr. Rosen said, “and the Government’s only purpose in reclassifying them into villages was to give the Jews the legal rights and privileges of peasants. This act will give an opportunity to the Jews in White Russia to get 50,000 acres of land fitted for the development of milk farms and other branches of agricultural work. The advantage of this land is that it is situated in the neighborhood of the villages in which the Jews live and therefore there are no comphcations of moving. The minister of agriculture of White Russia is as much interested in fostering agricultural resettlement as the Jews themselves, or any one in the organizations aiding them,” he added.
According to figures given by Dr. Rosen yesterday, 35,519 Jewish families have already been established as pioneer farmers in White Russia. Ukraine and Crimea. The new colonies of Jewish settlers established by aid of the Agro-Joint now number 160.
The land occupied by Jewish settlers embraces 250,993 acres in the Ukraine, held by 21,245 families; 52,027 acres in White Russia, where there are 10,324 families; 110,783 in the Crimea, where 3,950 families have made new homes. The land has been given free for settlement by the Russian government, which also furnishes free lumber for building, reduced transportation rates, and exemption from taxes and military service for the first three years after removal to the land.
The material assets of the new colonies, according to Dr. Rosen, are now placed at $8,829,000, representing the joint investment of the settlers, the government, and the assisting volunteer organizations, distributed as follows: land survey, $105,000; walls and equipment, $194,500; live stock, $1.209,000: implements, $625,000; vineyards and orchards, $130,000; creameries and other co-operative buildings, $105,000: schools and other public buildings, $125,000; construction of homes, $2,250,000; crops under cultivation, $3,087,500. Of this, over one-half or $4,047,500, represents own capital of the settlers themselves. The contribution of the Agro-Joint, as of Oct. 1, 1927, is put at $3,107,500. The remainder represents funds contributed by other organizations.
Dr. Rosen was met at the pier by Felix M. Warburg, Mrs. Rosen and a number of representatives of the Joint Distribution Committee.