J. D. B. News Letter

(By Our London Correspondent)

The projected Jewish land settlement activity in Australia is to be of an ambitious character, according to information which is in the possession of the London Federation of Jewish Relief Organizations.

In 1925, the Federation, then known as the Federation of Ukrainian Jews, entered into communication with the Ukrainian Jewish Relief Fund in Australia on this matter. The London Federation, through S. Landman, interviewed the High Commissioner of Australia with a view to obtaining permission for a group of Jewish emigrants stranded in Harbin to be settled in Australia. The Federation was advised by the High Commissioner that it would be more expeditious if the applications were submitted direct to the Minister for Home and Territory through a reputable Jewish organization in Australia who could vouch for the emigrants with regard to their ability to obtain employment on their arrival. The Melbourne Ukrainian Jewish Relief Fund was communicated with and was asked to take steps to secure permission for the emigrants to be admitted to Australia. A representative Conference of Victorian Jewry was called, but without any successful result, and the conference terminated in a deadlock. This, however, did not prevent the immigrants from entering Australia in considerable numbers, with the result that the local community was obliged to embark on a scheme for their assistance.

The new settlement scheme was launched at a public meeting held at Melbourne recently, presided over by Colonel Harold Cohen. A sum of £2,000 was subscribed at this meeting. Meetings in support of the new Jewish Land Settlement Trust are being held in all Jewish centres and collections are being made for the purpose of raising the necessary amount of £50,000.

The settlement work has already actually begun. In Shepparton, which was the first point of Jewish land settlement and has proved extremely successful, a hostel has been erected for the prospective settlers. It is calculated that if the amount required is raised, about 2,000 settlers can be placed on the land within the next few years, and as the loans advanced to the settlers are repaid this number will be greatly increased. The settlers would not necessarily be confined to Shepparton, which, however, would provide the most convenient point for future extensions.

The Land Settlement Committee is ### eager to raise the necessary funds for the trust that it has shown opposition to the decision of the Ort, Oze, and Emigdirect to send them representatives to Australia for the purpose of raising funds. The Ort. Oze, and Emigdirect proposed that 25 per cent of the collections should go for immigration work in Australia. The Land Settlement Committee objected to this proposal and cabled, insisting that no representative at all should be sent because all the funds which could be raised in Australia were urgently required for the Jewish settlement plan. The representative, Mr. F. Jacoby, had meanwhile left on his mission. The Settlement Committee has therefore circulated a letter to the press stating that in view of its settlement scheme and the small numbers of the Jewish Community in Australia any appeal to the Australian Community for funds for overseas work would be at the moment unwarranted.

Since the influx of the new immigrants, the Yiddish language, which was hardly heard before in Australia, has revived. Most of the new Jewish settlers speak Yiddish and the “Australian Jewish Herald” has even found it necessary to publish a Yiddish page. We had hoped, the paper writes in an editorial to have offered our readers four pages of Yiddish, but lack of type limited our effort to one. Australian printers have no Yiddish type, with the exception of a limited number of bold type for headings. The Yiddish page of the “Australian Jewish Herald” was therefore set up on a typewriter and printed from a block. Negotiations are now being carried on to acquire a Yiddish linotype machine.

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