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Figures Show Tendency of Russian Jews Toward Productive Labor

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The same economic conditions that caused the movement of the Jews of Russia toward the soil, are driving thousands of them into industry and labor in shops and factories. The extent of this movement is disclosed in data collected by the Statistical Committee of the Russian Ort and which was made public by David A. Brown, National Chriman of the United Jewish Campaign. The expense of gathering and compiling this statistical matter was in part defrayed by the Agro-Joint in Moscow.

According to the census of 1926 the Jewish population of U.S.S.R. was 2,600,945. Of this total the Ukraine had 1,574,391 Jews. Central Russia 566,925, White Russia 407,059, and the balance were divided among the other republics. Of the total of 2,600,945 there were 2,143,914 living a towns and cities and 457,031 in villages. This does not necessarily mean that the entire rural Jewish population was engaged in agricultural pursuits; nevertheless in the census of of 1926 one-fifth of the Russian Jews had already been classed as rural inhabitants. According to that census the Jews formed 1.8 percent of the entire population of the Union, although, so far as language was concerned the Yiddish speaking elements formed only 1.3 percent of the entire population of the Union. This would indicated that over 2/3 of the Russian Jews claimed Yiddish as their mother tongue.

For the economic divisions among Russian Jews according to trades and occupations, White Russia is taken as a basis. With a general population of 3,141.896 throughout the Republic engaged in trades and professions, the number of Jews in all kinds of industry is 150,917, from which it appears that while the Jews in general make up 8 percent of the population of the Republic, they comrise only 5 percent of the working population. The difference between the status of the Jew and the non-Jew in the various trades and occupations is clearly disclosed in the following table:

Laborers–non-Jews 3.8 percent of total non-Jews–Jews 16.7 percent of total no of Jews;

Peasants–non-Jews 85.1 percent of total non-Jews–Jews 13.1 percent of total no. of Jews;

Artisans–non-Jews 29 percent of total non-Jews–Jews 26.4 percent of total no of Jews;

Gov’t Clerks–non-Jews 3.1 percent of total non-Jews–Jews 17 percent of total no of Jews;

Traders–non-Jews 0,5 percent of total non-Jews–Jews 10.2 percent of total no of Jews;

Unemployed–non-Jews 3.8 percent of total non-Jews–Jews 9.6 percent of total no of Jews.

This table explains in a measure why the Jewish population has a smaller percentage of working people than the non-Jewish population, the chief reason being that 85 percent of the non-Jews are peasants whose occupational pursuits involve a large number of the members in each family. The peasant boy or girl starts work in the fields at a comparatively earlier age than do the Jewish adolescents. At the same time, the Jews, owing to the loss of their former economic standing as small traders, comprise a large percentage of the unemployed.

Classifying the industries and trades

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