Jewish Colonization in Russia No Longer Semiphilanthropic Experiment

The Jewish colonization work in Russia is no longer an experiment, declares James N. Rosenberg, in an article which will appear in a forthcoming issue of the B’nai Brith Magazine. Under the title “Help Regenerate Russian Jewry,” Mr. Rosenberg outlines the project to be undertaken with the $10,000,000 fund initiated by Julius Rosenwald’s $5,000,000 subscription.

“The record of the Agro-Joint during the past five years is one of solid achievement. It is a record about which there can be no controversy. It is a record which has silenced all criticism and gradually won over the opposition.

“Jewish colonization work in Russia is no longer to be carried on as a semi-philanthropic enterprise. It is to be put on a firm business foundation of a nature that will appeal to all progressive citizens. It is a sound investment in the finest type of social reconstruction. It is an investment in the promotion of economic stability among a large group of uprooted Jews. It is an investment in self-respect to be gained by Jews everywhere through the reorganization of one of the most troubling Jewish settlements in Eastern Europe.

“Julius Rosenwald’s subscriptionof $5,000,000 to the newly-organized American Society for Jewish Land Settlement Work in Russia was motivated largely by these considerations. In accepting the honorary charirmanship of the new organization, Mr. Rosenwald drew the line betwen his past contributions and his present subscription, in a very unmistakable manner. He stated in his message to me: ‘The colonization work in Russia affords the greatest possibility that has ever come to my notice to aid so large a group of human beings with a comparatively small investment.

“The scores of thousands of Russian Jews engaged in agriculture in the United States, the Argentine, Palestine and elsewhere, stand as living proof of the soundness of our undertaking.

“We propose to place 25,000 families of similar human material upon the soil in Russia, men and women bursting with energy, aching for opportunities to build for themselves a new life, yet barred from the United States by our immigration laws and barred from the Russian non-agricultural fields of endeavor by the prevailing social and economic system.”

Continuing, Mr. Rosenberg writes:

“The American Jews are called upon to put up $10,000,000. In fact, it is but $5,000,000, for Mr. Julius Rosenwald has provided one-half already. To be more exact, the American Jews are required to put up but $3,000,000, for Mr. Warburg and a dozen other individuals have already supplied $2,000,000 of the remaining $5,000,000. Among the most recent contributions are: $25,000 by Mr. Ben Selling of Portland, Oregon; $10,000 by Mr. Max Senior of Cincinnati, Ohio; $5,000 by Messrs. meier and Frank of Portland, Oregon; and $5,000 by Mr. A. S. Lavenson of Oakland, California.

“To match this, the Russian Government has agreed to provide $10,000,000. And it has agreed to furnish land valued at another $20,000,000. The value of the land cannot be measured in gold, for it is the last available fertile area in European Russia. What an opportunity and what an investment! This is indeed a unique moment in the Jewish Diaspora. What government in the past nineteen centuries has offered such extraordinary opportunities to the Jewish people? It is one thing for a government to issue manifestos, to proclaim diplomatic friendship for the Jew, to defend him politically. That may be a very great service, indeed. But at best it is never a sacrifice. It is another thing for a government actually to set aside valuable tracts of land for Jewish settlers. It is even a greater thing, perhaps an unprecedented act, for a government to appropriate from its treasury–which in the case of Russia is none too fullfunds for the creation of a Jewish agricultural class.”

He proceeds:

“The wheat-laden fields of the 1st new Jewish villages in the Ukraine and Crimea are teeming with a new-born energy, thanks to the promise of American Jewry. In the hearts of all forward looking Jews in American there stirs a new-born pride in the promise of a powerful Jewish agricultural class. This promise is not speculative in character. The 180,000 Jewish farmers in Russia stand back of it. The 135,000 new settlers of the last five years lend their endorsement to it. The entire Russian Jewry, without distinction as to party and class, sponsor it. The Soviet Government’s faith in it has been demonstrated in a very tangible and sizable form. The promise of the new Jewish farmer has been made good in the form of initial repayments on account of the loans advanced to him by the Agro-Joint.

“The Jew who cultivates the soil in Southern Russia cultivates not only wheat but also the mind of the whole world as to the productive capacity of our people,” Mr. Rosenberg concludes.

OVER 500,000 VISIT N. Y. JEWISH CEMETERIES IN DAY

More than 500,000 persons visited the Jewish cemeteries in and around New York on Sunday, September 9, the first day of the week preceding Rosh Hashanah. This figure is based on police estimates.

Visiting the cemetery on the first day of the Selichoth, the period of prayer preceding the High Holydays, is a time honored custom.

Temple Beth Israel of Richmond Hill, L. I., will offer a prayer for the repose of Captain Roald Amundsen at its Yom Kippur observance, according to a statement made by Rabbi Arthur Neulander of the Temple.

This decision, according to the rabbi, was made after the finding of a part of Amundsen’s plane in northern waters, which is considered evidence of the death of the flyer.

Mrs. Julius Rosenwald is in the Michael Reese hospital for observation for Intestinal trouble, from which she has suffered for more than two years.

Late in 1927 Mrs. Rosenwald underwent two operations at the same hospital, but was believed to have fully recovered.

According to her physician, Dr. Alfred A. Strauss, Mrs. Rosenwald’s condition is not critical.

Gifts totaling more than $306,850 were announced by the board of trustees of the University of Chicago at the summer quarters commencement exercises. The university received $250,000 from the late Adolph J. Lichstern of Chicago. Another gift was acknowledged from Alfred K. Stern of New York.

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