South African Jewry to Help East European Jews

(J. T. A. Mail Service)

A campaign to interest South African Jewry in the reconstruction work in Eastern Europe was inaugurated this week at a meeting held here of representatives of Jewish institutions in Johannesburg, the Reef and Pretoria and of prominent members of the local community. Mr. Bernard Alexander was in the chair and Dr. Leon Bramson, representative of the Ort, Oze and Emigdirekt, was the principal speaker.

The Chief Rabbi, Dr. J. L. Laudau, read a letter he had received from Dr. Moses Gaster expressing the hope that South African Jewry would help Dr. Bramson in his work. No one, Dr. Laudau said, appreciated more than he did the needs of their local community. He was at present collecting for the Jewish education of their children, and in addition no one appreciated more than he did the commanding appeal of national funds for Palestine. But at the same time, millions of their people were starving and needed help; they would not turn a deaf ear to their appeal.

Dr. Bramson said that the East European countries, Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Roumania, etc. had a Jewish population of seven and a half millions, and a third of these had no economic basis in the life of their countries.

The main cause of this hopeless state was the extremely limited sphere of Jewish occupations, which in itself was an abnormal and unhealthy phenomenon. Everywhere the Jew occupied the position of the agent, the middleman between the producer and consumer. They had too many shop-keepers and traders of all sorts and far too few productive workers, farmers, artisans, industrial workers, etc.

The three World Organizations–the Oze, the Ort and the Emigdirekt had set themselves the task of regulating, aiding and furthering the productive movement among the Jews.

The following resolution proposed by the chairman was then unanimously adopted by the meeting:

“That this meeting of representatives of Johannesburg and Reef Jewry expresses its sympathy with, and pledges its support to, the cause represented by Dr. Leon Bramon, and resolves that (a) a campaign shall be carried on under the name of Reconstruction Campaign for the Jews of Eastern Europe (through the Ort, Oze, and Emigdirekt) and (b) that a committee shall be elected by this gathering, with power to co-opt, for the purpose of organizing and conducting this campaign.”

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