Over 10,000 declassed Jews in 65 towns and villages in the Ukraine have been given employment and an opportunity to learn a productive trade, through a special form of assistance extended to them by the Joint Distribution Committee, through its Russian agency, the Agrojoint. The effort of the Joint Distribution Committee has been reinforced by a subsidy from the Soviet government. These facts are contained in a recent report to the Joint Distribution Committee from Dr. Joseph Rosen, made public by David A. Brown, national chairman of the United Jewish Campaign.
In addition to $225,000 previously made available by the Joint Distribution Committee to Dr. Rosen at the beginning of this year for a non-agricultural program among city and town dwellers in Russia, the Joint Distribution Committee recently voted a special grant of $50,000 for the purpose of creating employment for numbers of declassed Jews in Russia. Half of this grant has been distributed among seventy-one mutual aid societies in 65 towns and villages in the Odessa, Kiev, Podolia and Ekaterinoslav Districts. To this the Soviet government has added 200,000 roubles. The balance of this Joint Distribution Committee grant has been used for the importation of yarns. These mutual aid societies operate 250 cooperative workshops, which provide employment in tailoring shoemaking, baking, wood-working, spinning, metal working and similar occupations. Dr. Rosen reports that in this manner employment was provided and trades taught to over 10,000 people.
The first consignment of yarn imported by the Joint Distribution Committee was distributed through the media of 54 loan kassas to 3,000 spinners in quantities sufficient for from six to eight weeks’ employment. In some instances it was possible to increase the period of employment to double the normal period for the rea- (Continued on Page 4)
On the basis of the gratifying results he has been able to effect with this grant and with the prior allotments of the committee in creating and providing employment opportunities for declassed Jews in the cities, Dr. Rosen has submitted a series of projects for creating other employment possibilities for large numbers of Jews. These projects include the organization of cooperative spinneries of artificial silk and wool yarns. In these projects the strongest loan kassas could participate and supply the greater part of the capital required. There are competent local experts who could develop these undertakings.
To launch such a program, Dr. Rosen states, large funds are necessary for the importation and installation of machinery to equip these spinneries. The government, he announces, is prepared to guarantee the money that may be invested in these projects. If the Joint Distribution Committee could furnish $1,000,000 during a period of two years, the loan kassas would be in a position, with the addition of their own capital, to equip spinneries giving employment to 1,500 spinners and at the same time supply yarn continuously to 7,500 artisan families, most of them now in the declassed category, who have learned the trade in the workshops of the various mutual aid societies.
A similar project for employment of weavers, making possible the self-maintenance of thousands of families, is strongly urged by Dr. Rosen in his report, in which he characterizes this type of work as of the utmost importance.
Dr. Rosen’s report has been referred to the Executive Committee of the Joint Distribution Committee and is now under advisement.