Ozet to Investigate Charges Bira Bidjan Project Mismanaged

A stirring report about Bira-Bidjan, the Far Eastern Jewish settlement sponsored by the Ozet, society for Jewish land settlement, by Victor Fink, a Soviet journalist who has just returned after a three months’ investigation at Bidjan, caused a storm at today’s plenary session of the Ozet.

Declaring that Bidjan has great possibilities, Fink emphasized that the Ozet-Comzet administration there is mismanaging the project. He substantiated his statement by a number of facts which impressed the plenary session. As a result of Fink’s statement, Engineer Bragin, a pioneer in the movement to settle the Jews on the land, urged that official court proceedings be started against the accused Ozet-Comzet administrators in the Far East. Bragin’s recommendation, however, was not accepted.

Regina Medem, a New York member of the Icor, the American Committee for Jewish Colonization in Russia, who toured Bidjan with Fink, agreed with his charges and added in her report that she finds that the 2,500,000 roubles spent up to the present on 200 families now remaining in Bidjan was too much. The plenary session decided to consider the charges at next week’s meeting.

Samuel Weitzman reported about his American trip, saying that the Jcor was not reaching the real masses. It is learned here that the Ozet intends to send a special delegation to the United States whose mission will be either to reorganize the Jcor to enable more elements to join its membership or to organize a separate organization parallel with the Jcor, thus getting more non-Communist American Jews to help in the upbuilding of Bidjan. Either Diamondstein or Merizhin are to be included in the delegation.

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