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Mrs. Sternberger Reports on Russian Jewish Colonies

Conditions in the Jewish colonies in Crimea as she observed them were described by Mrs. Estelle M. Sternberger, Executive Secretary of the National Council of Jewish Women, in a report to David A. Brown, national chairman of the United Jewish Campaign upon her return from abroad where she visited Poland and Russia to study Jewish conditions. On her tour of the Jewish colonies Mrs. Sternberger was accompanied by agriculturists from the staff of the Agrojoint, the agency of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

“The colonists I saw in those places,” Mrs. Sternberger says in her report, “were in striking contrast to the spirit of the Jews in the cities, where they are experiencing much difficulty in adjusting themselves to the new economic conditions. Accustomed to occupations allowing wide latitude for initiative, they are now compelled to accommodate themselves to occupations in which the are mere cogs.

“The despair for the future of the Jew in Russia, which this spectacle in the large cities arouses, is quickly dispelled when one tours the colonies. There the Jews move about with an air of freedom. They go about their tasks with zest and energy. They are not intimidated by the strain of physical labor, but exert their utmost strength in an atmosphere of independence. They feel that they are partners in the task of developing the riches and resources of agricultural Russia.

“Though millions of dollars have already been expended, many more millions are required to make it possible for the Joint Distribution Committee to give the colonists something more than tools and land. They must be aided in their aspirations for establishing schools and synagogues to assist them in living a well-rounded and happy religious, social and communal life,” Mrs. Sternberger declared.

While in Warsaw. Mrs. Sternberger visited the Jewish School for Nursing, the only one in Europe, which was established there by the Joint Distribution Committee under the direction of Miss Amelia Greenwald of New York, and spent two days at the institution to familiarize herself with its workings. “I was gratified,” she says, “to find it an institution which any American metropolitan city would prize. It is unbelievable that so much could have been accomplished with such meagre resources and facilities. The school can indeed be regarded as one of the most outstanding and enduring services of the Joint Distribution Committee to East European Jewry. I am confident that the influence of the school will extend far beyond the limits of Poland and Warsaw.”

Rabbi Julius Frank, rabbi emeritus of the Temple Oheb Sholom, Reading, Pa., died of heart trouble, aged 67 years.

Rabbi Frank went to Reading on May 2, 1897. In 1916 he was chairman of an investigating committee of the general citizens’ committee that looked after the welfare of the families of the men on the Mexican border.

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