Paris (Jul. 9)
A high tribute to the memory of M. Franz Philippson, the president of the Ica, was paid by Deputy Dr. Oscar Kohn, the president of the Administrative Council of the Hicem (Hias-Ica-Emigdirekt) in opening its annual meeting here. The meeting then adjourned as a sign of mourning.
When the meeting was resumed, Dr. Kohn presented the report of the directors of the Hias-Ica-Emigdirekt on the activities of the Association during the period April 1, 1927 to December 31, 1928.
The meeting was attended by Aaron Benjamin and Dr. James Bernstein New York, Dr. Israel Bernstein, Berlin, Dr. J. Blau, Frankfort, Leonard L. Cohen and O. E. d’Avigdor-Goldsmid, London, Dr. Joachimssohn, Berlin, Mr. Gribeschock, Riga, Dr. M. Krainin, Paris, Mr. Latzki-Bertoldi, Riga, Prof. Mittwoch, Berlin, Leo Motzkin, M. Edouard Oungre, and Prof. Salomon Reinach, Paris, Dr. J. Stern, Berlin, M. Chalit, Vilna, Dr. Klee, Berlin, M. Louis Oungre, Paris, and Dr. Silberschein, Lemberg.
Dr. James Simon, president of the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden, has been elected president of the Hicem, with Aaron Benjamin of the Hias, M. Edouard Oungre of the Ica and Dr. Krainin of the Emigdirekt, as directors.
Dr. James Simon was the first president of the Administrative Council of the Hicem, being elected at the constituting meeting held in Paris in April 1927.
Jewish emigration during the past two years, Deputy Kohn stated in his report, totalled between 35,000 and 40,000 a year. In spite of the reduction of Jewish emigration, the protection of the emigrants became increasingly difficult on account of the restrictions which surround the admission of the emigrants into the overseas countries, and the complicated formalities to which they are submitted.
This state of affairs, the report stated, is reflected in the activities of the Hias-Ica-Emigdirekt, which can be summed up as follows:
The number of people who appealed for aid to the affiliated committees of the Association in the countries of emigration amounted in 1927 to about 40,000, and in 1928 to more than 53,000.
The committees gave legal and consular advice and help in 10,975 cases in 1927, and in 19,816 cases in 1928. The number of emigrants who were aided by the Hicem in the Argentine, Brazil, Uruguay and Canada, where it is particularly effective, grew in 1927 to 6,453, and in 1928 to 10,831. In these four countries, 1,888 emigrants were in 1927 provided with employment by the offices organized under the auspices
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of the Hicem, and 4,367 were provided with employment in 1928.
The number of persons who entered the Argentine and Canada, thanks to the permits obtained by the committees of the Hicem, grew in 1928 to 2,444. Many of the immigrants assisted by the Hicem have also benefited by the material aid granted them in the form of advances, amounting in 1927 to more than $45,000, and in 1928 to over $100,000.
The efforts made by the Association to adapt the emigrants to the conditions obtaining in the countries of immigration, are shown in the language courses, and in the training given in agriculture and other occupations. Several of these efforts have yielded excellent results, while others need still to be tested.
In the second half of 1928, the Hicem began to put into operation its work of providing credits in the countries of immigration. This work was beset with technical difficulties, which the Hicem succeeded, however, in overcoming. Loans were granted accordingly to facilitate the establishment of the workers who had just arrived, and for the purchase of tickets for those persons who had not sufficient means to bring over their relatives from Eastern Europe.
These institutions were called upon to render services to the emigrants of a kind which could not be fully appreciated until the course of the year 1929.
Dr. Oscar Kohn, expressing his satisfaction with the results achieved, mentioned in particular that the activity of the Hicem was carried on during a period when the question of immigration in general was very difficult, and when restrictions bristled around the immigration movement to the Argentine, Canada, and South Africa, and when at the same time the need of Jewish emigration was more pressing than ever.
The situation was the more difficult because of the measures taken in the countries of immigration, not in connection with the Jews, but in general. It was the duty of the Hicem to watch that immigration facilities in favor of Jewish emigrants should be as wide as possible.
Dr. Joachimssohn reported to the Council on behalf of the Revision Commission, which, he said, had found all the financial operations of the Association in perfect order and to their complete satisfaction.
Leo Motzkin spoke of the fruitful results obtained by the cooperation of the Hias. Ica and Emigdirekt in the Hicem. The Administrative Council then unanimously approved the reports. It also ratified the budget of the Hicem for the year 1929, which was adopted by the Executive Committee at the end of the year.
The Council noted with regret that James Bernstein is about to return to the United States and gave expression to its recognition of his cooperation in the work and its hope that he would continue this cooperation in the United States. The president welcomed Aaron Benjamin, Mr. Bernstein’s successor, whose activities on behalf of Jewish emigrants are well known.