Moscow (Jun. 15)
The first groups of Jewish workers sent to Kertch, where industrialization of Jewish workers in the factories of the Ukrainian town is planned, have not met with the success expected, states Mr. Brill, the representative of the Comzet, governmental department for Jewish land settlement, upon his return to Moscow.
The principal difficulty, Mr. Brill said, is that the new arrivals sought to become locksmiths, avoiding other trades. Also, he said, when the Jewish workers arrived in Kertch, rumors were spread that it was intended to convert the local synagogue into a workers’ home. Immediately, a delegation of Jewish residents, headed by the rabbi, presented to the Comzet representative a list of sixty rooms in Jewish houses available for the workers. They begged that the synagogue be spared. The workers have been been placed in the private homes until the Ort and Agrojoint, will have prepared houses being rebuilt for 214 Jewish workers.
Fifteen Jewish artisans in the small towns are facing what virtually amounts to a crisis due to the lack of raw material, mainly leather and cotton as the majority of those affected are tailors and shoemakers. The low standard of the rouble on foreign exchanges has compelled the Soviet trade delegations abroad to reduce the amount of raw material purchases. As a result the local cooperatives are empty and the Jewish artisans’ only source of raw material is the Ort. However, due to the large number, reaching many thousands, who have lately become artisans, the Ort supplies are insufficient.
The Jewish Communist press, drawing attention to the situation, suggests that the Jews turn to such work which does not require foreign raw material.
The Ort. in conjunction with the Agrojoint, has arranged with the Comzet for the importation of cotton valued at quarter of a million roubles within the coming three months. These supplies will be divided among 110 institutions and artisans in the small towns.
Another activity of the Ort, the society for the promotion of trades and agriculture, is the renovating of old machies, substituting the worn out parts. By this the Jewish artisans who own machines since before the war and which were no longer fit for use can now renew their activities. Engineers with new parts for the machines have been sent to the small towns to start this work immediately.
The creation of special government economic organs to aid in the economic rehabilitation of the small towns in the Ukraine is demanded by the “Emes,” Moscow Yiddish Communist daily.
The paper points out that while the economic reconstruction of the small town in White Russia is part of the government’s five year program and is being systematically effected, this is not so in the Ukraine where there is no centralized plan.
A great many prospective Jewish migrants whose names were placed on the lists for settling on the land have not taken advantage of the opportunity, declares the “Stern,” Charkoff Communist Yiddish daily. The paper states that many in the districts of Proskurov, Podol and Volyn hesitate because they fear bad crops this year.
The paper complains that rumors were spread that it was better to remain in the towns this year than settle on the land. As a result a number of families refused to proceed to the Crimea and Ukraine.
The Comzet, the governmental department for settling Jews on the land, is not utilizing the full opportunity offered by the land reforms in Crimea in order to secure more land for Jewish settlement purposes, complains J. Kroup, agronomist, in an article he published in the Moscow “Emes.”
Considerable tracts of land adjacent to the Jewish colonies in the region are now vacant due to the land reform and could be easily obtained for extension purposes, he writes.
The correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was informed that this charge was unfounded as the Comzet has asked the Soviet government to secure the tracts for Jewish settlement purpose in such cases in which the present owners are not entitled to the land.
Considerable unemployment among Jewish workers prevails in Zwenigorodke, Umman district. A large percentage of the unemployed have been without work for considerable time. Many of them are qualified artisans. The number of Jewish unemployed reaches a thousand in the region.
A Yiddish correspondence school for the benefit of the Jewish settlers on the land is being organized by the Commissariat of Education. Fifty Jewish teachers and social workers are to comprise the faculty which is to instruct the settlers by mail in arithmetic, natural science, agriculture and political economy. The Ozet, society for settling Jews on the land, is subsidizing the work.
Contributions of $5,000 from Col. Michael Friedsam and of $2,500 from Mortimer L. Schiff to the Ort Campaign for Industrial Reconstruction were announced by Howard S. Cullman, national chairman of the Ort drive.
Justice Albert Cohn and Commissioner Albert Goldman, co-chairmen of the Bronx campaign committee, will launch activities in that borough with a dinner at the Concourse Plaza, June 20. The guests of honor will be campaign officers, Howard S. Cullman, Paul Felix Warburg, national treasurer and Mark Eisner, New York City chairman.
Mrs. Cecilia Bacharach Kirschbaum, founder of the Industrial Home for Jewish Working Girls in Philadelphia, died Friday night in that city. She was ninety-two years old. She took an active leadership in Jewish community affairs and founded the Home as a memorial to her husband, Abraham. B. Kirschbaum, clothing manufacturer, who died thirty-five years ago.