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Russian Jewish Colonists Not Tampered in Religion, James Becker, Back, States

The Soviet government has issued instructions to the local authorities in the regions where Jewish colonies are located that colonists should not be interfered with if they desire to erect synagogues, declared James H. Becker of Chicago, who returned yesterday on the steamer Paris from an extended visit to Russia. Mr. Becker accompanied Felix M. Warburg, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, on his visit to the Jewish colonies in Russia.

“The Jewish colonization work in Russia surpassed all my expectations. I have always followed with great interest the opinions expressed by those who returned from Russia concerning the success of the Jewish colonization work there. These opinions, however, are weak in comparison with the enthusiastic inspiration one obtains when visiting the colonies.

“The Jewish colonists are not peasants. There is a strong cultural and spiritual life in the colonies and those of them who want to engage in religious activities and find no obstacles,” he stated. Mr. Becker praised the leadership of Dr. Joseph A. Rosen, to whom the success of the colonies is due, he stated.

When asked for his impressions of Palestine which he also visited recently, Mr. Becker stated that no comparison between the Jewish colonization work in Russia and Palestine should be made. “Both are worthy of full support. The colonies in Palestine are the most successful enterprises that I saw in the country. Their flourishing condition is due no doubt to the great idealism and devotion of the settlers. The Jews in Palestine place great hopes in the experts commission of the Jewish Agency, which was received there enthusiastically,” he stated.

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