Paris (Jul. 13)
(By our Paris Correspondent)
The Board of the Jewish Colonization Association (Ica) has decided to increase its support to the work in which it takes an interest in Poland.
On the strength of a report submitted by its agents in Poland on the results so far secured by the assistance rendered to Jewish farmers, the Board has decided to extend this work. During the first six months of the present year, over 1,200 loans have been distributed which will enable the farmers to complete their stocks of implements and cattle, to buy seeds. etc.
With regard to technical instruction, the Ica continues to extend help to those schools which have not sufficient means to cover their budgets. This assistance will, it is believed, be sufficient to ensure the continuation of seventeen boys’ and girls’ schools, with about 2.000 pupils.
The Ica has also undertaken, by agreement with the Joint, to provide the schools with improved outfits of tools and to put the school building in order. At the beginning of the next school year evening courses will be opened in various parts of Poland to admit about 1.500 Jewish apprentices. The institution of these courses, for which the Ica has already granted the necessary credits some months ago. is a consequence of the new Polish laws which regulate the exercise of the different trades. The Ica. which is desirous o coming to the aid of all classes of the Jewish population of Poland. has also just renewed for the third time the financial assistance it has been granting to the Labor Exchange of the Jewish Trade Unions in Poland.
A few months ago. the Ica, jointly with the Joint Distribution Committee. undertook to re-equip with machines and tools all the Jewish technical schools maintained by it in Poland and to repair the school buildings. These tools outfits, which have been bought abroad on the most favorable terms, have already been delivered and are now being installed. The repair work is likewise being carried out and it is hoped that everything will be finished before the beginning of the new school year.
Thanks to this action of the Ica and the Joint Distribution Committee. the students at the Jewish technical schools in Poland can now easily acquire the new working methods; at the same time the output of the workshops of these institutions will be increased by the use of better tools. which. again, will increase the income of the shops.
The general management here of the Ica has just supplied the J. T. A. with a detailed report on the position of the new Jewish colonization work in the districts of Goulai-Pole and Nicopol in the Ukraine, which they have financed and directed from the start. The extent of land reserved in those districts for the new settlers is almost 50.000 hectares; it is divided into forty-nine sections and 2.278 families are already settled there out of a total of 3,400 whom it has been decided to instal there.
The settlers come mostly from the small towns in the Provinces of Podolia. Volhynia and Kiev. As regards their former occupations. twenty-two percent were custars and artisans, twenty-eight percent merchants. fourteen percent peasants, etc.
On their arrival on the plots. the new farmers first of all engage in the preparation of the ground for the seeds. In this way they have, since last autumn. sown 9,700 hectares of winter wheat and 18,560 hectares of spring wheat. Each family is settled on a plot of 15 hectares. Of this area. 12 hectares are reserved for various crops and the remainder for pastureland, buildings. etc. A plot of this size produced last year. on an average. a total crop of 596 pood of various cereals. representing an income of about 500 roubles. To this amount should be added the additional profits which the farmer may make on dairy produce, cattle breeding, etc.
The seeds and leased cattle necessary for the farm work have been prepared and distributed by the Ica. in accordance with a plan based on a thorough study of local conditions. At the present moment there are already over 1,200 cows and over 2.400 horses in the Colony. the bulk of which have been supplied by the Ica. As regards the leased farm implements. all the necessary machines and tools have so far been distributed by the Ica. A large part of this material. particularly the tractors. trucks. small trucks. etc. have been bought abroad. especially in America where the Ica. thanks to its connections. obtains the best terms.
The work of building is making rapid progress. In the region of Goulai-Pole there are 394 houses which have been built under the auspices of the Ica. and 562 in the region of Nicopol. The programme for this year provides for the completion of 700 houses. seventeen school buildings and five cooperative society buildings. It is. moreocer. expected that 600 new houses will shortly be built. The cost of one house amounts on an average to 500 roubles. At the same time as new settlers are being installed. the Ica is providing for the construction of wells. So far 136 ordinary wells and five artesian wells have been dug.
The work of extending credits which has been taken up again by the Ica in Russia in the last few years, is continually developing. At the present moment nearly 200 loan associations, comprising 97,00 members. are benefiting by its financial and technical aid. A tendency to progressive consolidztion is noticeable and many of the associations already have a considerable working capital and can even dispense with permanent assistance. These institutions sometimes. however, meet witle difficulties in supplying the needs of their members and in order to help them in such cases where a short term loan would be able to tide them over their difficulties. the Ica has now decided to extend still further the financial assistance in renders to these associations.
At the annual meeting of the Administrative Board of the Wayne County Training School Detroic. Milton M. Alexander was elected President for the coming year.
George W. Rabinoff. Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Indianapolis lnd, has accepted a position with the Bureau of Jewish Social Research at New York.
Mr. Rabinoff, who came to Indianapolis in 1921. will be given a testimonial dinner on August 12th, and will leave on August 13th.