Palestine Upbuilding Work Under Agency Plan, Must Become Concern of All Jews, Felix M. Warburg State
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Palestine Upbuilding Work Under Agency Plan, Must Become Concern of All Jews, Felix M. Warburg State

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The upbuilding of Palestine, now that the formation of the Jewish Agency is entering into its final phase must and should become the concern of all Jews, irrespective of group affiliation or shades of opinion, Felix Mr. Warburg. chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee and American Commissioner of the Jewish Agency, declared in an interview with the representative of the Jewish Daily Bulletin.

Mr. Warburg, who returned several days ago from an extended trip to Europe. said that during his stay abroad he concerned himself with four of the problems which have the close interest of many Jewish groups in the United States and in Europe.

The questions that he dealt with were that of the Hebrew University. which was taken up at the meeting of the Board of Governors held in London, the draiting of the report of the Jewish Agency Commission, the situation of the Jewish colonization work in Soviet Russia in connection with the forthcoming development on the basis of the new agreement with the Soviet Government and the necessity and extent of continuing the J.D.C. relief work in other European countries after the present program outlined in 1925 will have been completed.

With regard to the Hebrew University, the reports submitted to the Board of Governors and the decisions taken indicate fully that steady progress is being made in the establishment and expansion of the Jerusalem seat of learning. Mr. Warburg said. A meeting of the American Advisory Committee of the Hebrew University will shortly take place and following that meeting further details of the plans of the Hebrew University sponsors will be made public.

“As to the work of the Jewish Agency Commission. I was glad to observe that through the efforts of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency the American Jewish and non-Jewish public was enabled to have the full text of the Commissioners’ report and to obtain an opportunity to acquaint itself fully with the actual conditions and the plans formulated for consolidation and later expansion. To translate the recommendations of the Jewish Agency Commission into actual facts will be the task of Dr. Weizmann and Mr. Louis Marshall, who is now on his way back to the United States.

“Mr. Marshall, whose work during the London conference was of inestimable value, will. I hope, find it possible upon his arrival in this country to make a statement with regard to the further plans which are to be adopted for creating the machinery necessary. I must repeat what I said previously in London, that the deliberations of the London conference were most enjoyable and that all participants displayed a most sincere and earnest interest in the work.

“I do feel and I hope that the feeling will extend to the entire Jewish community in the United States, that the work for Palestine, as outlined by the Jewish Agency Commission, is an obligation resting not only upon one group nor upon one set of individuals, but upon the entire community,” Mr. Warburg declared.

When asked for his opinion as to the criticism levelled against the recommendations of the Jewish Agency Commission concerning the Kvuzoth and the demand that the settlers be required to sign individual contracts with the colonizing agency without the interference of any other body, Mr. Warburg expressed surprise that such criticism should be voiced at this moment before the actual regulations applying the recommendations are formulated.

“In this matter, the Commission has felt that sound business principles must be introduced and any fairminded businessman will agree that this is the only procedure to follow. There is no reason to get excited over the program of consolidtion which must precede any further work. In the matter of individual contracts, the Commission has followed the precedent in the Russian settlements, where every colonist undertakes a personal responsibility for the things he receives. It is unthinkable that the Agency should deal with groups of people whose responsibility is merely corporate and who may disassociate themselves at choice, leaving chaos behind them.

“Our sympathies are with the farmers who should get land that is capable of sustaining them. We want the settlers to assume indebtedness for what they received, but only on the basis of its actual productive value, leaving out any expense for the necessary preparation and other expenses that are not directly connected with the value of the land.”

When the interviewer mentioned to Mr. Warburg the questions raised in certain Zionist circles as to the definite obligations of the non-Zionists for the five year budget proposed by the Jewish Agency Commission, Mr. Warburg stated that so far as the present year is concerned, the Zionists will have to continue with their campaign. Of course the direct inference from the Commission’s report is that the non-Zionists are urged to help in strengthening the Zionist funds.

“As to the criticism uttered with regard to the $3,000,000 a year budget for the United States. I believe that if the budget of $3,000,000 is actually raised and put directly under the control of the Jewish Agency, it will do a greater share of good than higher sums spoken of,” Mr. Warburg stated.

“Concerning the situation of the Jewish colonies in Russia, I can say on the basis of most authentic reports, notwithstanding other reports to the contrary, that the prospects, with the exception of one region, are moderately hopeful. Dr. Rosen is on the job and I have no doubt that the colonies, despite the temporary difficulties which have, by the way, affected all farming in Russia, will continue to make progress. The new agreement under which the $10,000,000 dollar fund will be invested, is being negotiated and will shortly be completed. The only thing I might add is that it is necessary that some more of our people volunteer to complete the fund without awaiting for personal solicitation.

“As to the general relief work in other parts of Europe, it seems to me that some measure of support will have to be continued, even after the present program is completed. I conferred with Dr. Bernard Kahn, our European director, and a number of suggestions and plans have been for mulated. These plans will be submitted to the next meeting of the Joint Distribution Committee, after which more details will be published,” Mr. Warburg concluded.


Through the generosity of Mr. George Blumenthal of New York City the Hebrew University is enabled to publish “A Survey of Moslem Heraldry’ by Dr. L. A. Mayer, of the School of Oriental Studies of the Hebrew University, and of the Department of Antiquities of the Palestine Government. The Survey is to be published in two volumes the first containing the text and the second the plates. The text will contain an introduction dealing with the essentials of Moslem heraldry, the armorial roll, or a list of the blazons extant of about 200 Saracen knights and sultans, and a bibliography.

The second volume will be made up of eighty plates with pictures of about 250 blazons, collected from the monuments of Syria. Palestine and Egypt, and from objects of art scattered over European, American and Oriental museums and private collections. The bulk of this material will be published for the first time.

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