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J.D.B. News Letter

(By Our Melbourne Correspondent)

Three hundred Jewish immigrants have arrived here on board the steamer “Cephee.”

It is the largest group of Jewish immigrants to arrive at one time since the present Jewish immigration stream commenced. Most of them have tickets to Melbourne, which makes for difficulty in settling them. Perth and Adelaide, ports of call before Melbourne and with substantial Jewish communities, are passed by, and few immigrants can be persuaded to go on to Sydney, the largest Jewish community in Australia. It is felt that a wider distribution of the immigrants would be advisable.

The Australian Jewish Community is giving its support to the campaign for funds which is being carried on here by Mr. Jacobi, the representative of the Ort-Oze – Emigdireck. The Victorian Jewish Immigration Questions Department, representing the Jewish Community of Victoria, held a special meeting at which it decided “unanimously that having noted with great sympathy the distress and catastrophic economic conditions prevailing among the Jewish people in Eastern Europe, and having learned with great satisfaction of the activities of the Ort-Oze-Emigdirekt in their endeavors to reconstruct the life of the Jewish masses on the basis of good health and productive labor in the fields and in the workshops, this meeting pledges itself to support the reconstruction campaign for the Jews of Eastern Europe and callsupon the Jewish Community of Victoria to respond generously to the appeal now being made by Mr. Jacobi.”

The trustees of the Levinson Estate have forwarded a cheque for $500 as a contribution to the campaign fund.

The topic of the day here is the payment of fines aggregating over $500,000 by three brothers, Emanuel, Louis and Alfred Abrahams, well-known Jewish investors and merchants, on charges of income tax frauds. No case of recent times has excited so much interest in the country. The verdict is a consequence of dramatic departmental investigations, which culminated in the forcing of several powerful safes and the seizing of a quantity of private bonds and documents. Special legislation had to be introduced by the Federal Government before proceedings could be taken. The affair has created a very painful impression in the Jewish community.

The question also came up in the form of a debate in the Federal House of Representatives, where Deputies criticised the action of the Government in accepting $500,000 from the Abrahams brothers and refraining from prosecuting them.

Dr. Maloney, the member for Melbourne, took occasion to answer those people who are exploiting the Abrahams affair to attack the Jews. “I feel certain,” he said, “that no decent Jewish man or woman in Australia has any sympathy with the Abrahams brothers. I believe, on the contrary, that they take the view that it would have been justice if the Abrahams had been more severely punished. I feel it incumbent on me to say a word for the Jewish people, because I have heard repeatedly in this connection the statement: “Oh, The Abrahams are Jews, so what can you expect?”

The appointment of Philip W. Russ of New York as the executive secretary of the Jewish Committee on Scouting was announced by Dr. Cyrus Adler, chairman of the committee. Mr. Russ has assumed his duties preparatory to launching the work of the Committee at full speed in the fail.

The activities of the Jewish Committee on Scouting have been made possible by the contribution of Mortimer L. Schiff, International Commissioner and Vice-President of the Boy Scouts of America.

The Committee has established its office in New York City.

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