Bessarabian Jews Facing Starvation Send Plea for Help

A new plea for help in the face of starvation and epidemics has reached the office of the United Jewish Campaign from a number of Jewish communities in Bessarabia. Stricken with a total failure of crops the peasantry of Bessarabia, according to reports received, is seeking edible leaves and grass in the woods; the cattle is dying; children are in the grip of epidemic diseases. Hundreds of Jewish colonists are afflicted in the same manner and are facing another year of starvation.

All credit institutions of the country are facing possible collapse owing to lack of funds and a falling off of their membership. A delegation of Bessarabians presented the problems to a group of ministers in Bucharest but have so far been unsuccessful in receiving any aid. The same situation has been experienced by the Union of Jewish Cooperative Credit Societies of Bessarabia which is also witnessing a large falling off of its membership and is totally unable to meet the requests for loans made to them from all parts of the country.

Thus far the situation has been relieved only by the new credits granted to the Jewish cooperatives by the Joint Ica Foundation at its recent meeting in Paris. A recommendation presented by the managing directors, Dr. Bernhard Kahn and Mr. L. Oungre, was approved by the Managing Board and provided for a new fund of $60,000 to be used for further credits to the Jewish Cooperative Loan Societies. This money was allotted to the Societies from repayments that they had made in the years of 1927-1928 on the loans previously granted to them by the Joint Distribution Committee and the Foundation.

An additional fund of $10,000 was voted to help the new Jewish colonists in making payments to the Government for land allocated to them. The first $10,000 granted for this same purpose at the close of 1924 has aided 400 families of new settlers in establishing themselves on the land. The larger part of this first fund has already been repaid. The Foundation has also extended a credit of $5,000 to supplement a previous $20,000 grant, in November 1927, for the purpose of furnishing tools, machinery and raw materials to hundreds of artisans throughout Bessarabia.

These relief measures would, under ordinary conditions, go a long way toward the final reconstruction of Jewish life in Bessarabia. They are however, falling short of the mark in the face of the present serious situation. The Joint Distribution Committee has addressed an inquiry to its European Director, Dr. Bernhard Kahn, as to the details of the actual situation in Bessarabia and insofar as the funds at the disposal of the Committee will permit, special measures will be taken to cope with these conditions, the United Jewish Campaign announced.

David Holaman, eighty, pioneer real estate dealer, died in Spokane, Washington.

Mr. Holzman was a resident of Spokane since 1887.

About a thousand people attended the thirty-first harvest festival at the National Farm School, Doylesown, Pa.

The speaker of the day was Samuel Price Wetherill, Jr. of Philadelphia, president of the Regional Planning Commission, who spoke on the relationship of agriculture to public progress.

The exercises were held in the school gymnasium, which was crowded to capacity. Joseph H. Hagerdon, vice president of the school presided. Herbert D. Allman was elected president.

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