Polish Union of Jewish Credit Cooperatives Reorganized into More Effective Means for Economic Rehabi
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Polish Union of Jewish Credit Cooperatives Reorganized into More Effective Means for Economic Rehabi

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David A. Brown, National Chairman of the United Jewish Campaign, announces that Dr. Bernhard Kahn, European director of the Joint Distribution Committee, has succeeded in effecting reorganization of the Union of Jewish Credit Cooperatives in Poland, so that it has become an even more effective instrumentality for the economic rehabilitation of the Jews of that country.

The reorganization. Mr. Brown pointed out, was necessitated in order to make possible the distribution of new, large credits based, according to Dr. Kahn’s report, on the actual needs of the loan kassas and their financial and organizational situation. In accordance with these needs, a plan to distribute $350,000 for the credit cooperative kassas in Poland was set up.

In connection with the reorganization plans, a new directorate for the Union was put into office, and former Polish Vice-Minister of Finance Flaum appointed managing director of the Bankdla Spoldzielni, the financial institution through which the credit-cooperatives obtain the funds made available for them by the Joint Distribution Committee. “As a condition sine qua non, we have asked for a considerable financial participation on the part of Jewish groups in Poland who are not directly connected with the cooperative movement,” Dr. Kahn reports, adding that steps in this respect have already been taken. Meanwhile some of the stronger cooperatives have deposited sizable sums in the bank as long term deposits.

At the same time, Dr. Kahn reports reorganization of the Central People’s Bank in Wilna, another financial institution established by the J. D. C. through the American Joint Foundation, and which suffered through the recent instability of Polish currency. This bank has been strengthened by a five-year credit of $20,000 by the Foundation, which is reserving a further amount of $10,000 for it.

Every effort is being made, Dr. Kahn reports, to maintain the Jewish Consumers’ Cooperative movement in Poland, the existence of which, he says, is essential from the psychological point of view. “Our program in Poland is the systematic strengthening of the individual kassas as well as the financial rehabilitation of the central financial institutions,” Dr. Kahn declares.

Establishment and strengthening of Jewish cooperative movements in countries other than Poland is described in Dr. Kahn’s report, in which he says:

“It is no exaggeration that in Roumania, where there are 26 cooperative with 23,000 members, this movement owes its existence entirely to the organizational and financial support of the J. D. C. through the Foundation.”

‘In order to further the movement in all parts of Roumania (outside of Bessarabia, where a cooperative movement was in operation before the World War) a conference was held early in the year, of representatives of the kassas in the four parts of Roumania. As a result, training courses were held in Kishineff in which managers, bookkeepers, and other employees, as well as members of the Councils, of a large number of cooperatives participated. At the same time drastic administrative economics have been effected, setting free additional funds to be given out in loans.

Repayments to the kassas in Old Roumania have been made quire regularly, Dr. Kahn reports, and new credits to the amount of $25,000 transferred to them.

Dr. Kahn expresses great satisfaction with the kassas in Transylvania, where, he says, they perform an especially important task in arousing the self-consciousness of the Jews and organizing their financial forces. As (Continued on Page 8)

Regarding the achievements of the Credit Kassas in Bessarabia, Dr. Kahn reports: “A desperate situation prevailed in that country during the first months of 1929 on account of failure of crops and the severe winter. In spite of these terrible conditions, the Bessarabian Cooperative Kassas repaid to the Joint Foundation during the course of the year an amount of more than $37,000. The 40 kassas there embrace about 30,000 members, and the credits on the part of the Foundation amount to about $300,000, while the outstanding loan is $1,300,000.

To meet the most urgent needs of this cruelly suffering Jewish population, comparatively large credits have been granted to the kassas, amounting to $30,000. In addition, the new crop being rather good, an amount of about $11,500 has been granted for loans on crops and about $19,000 for foodstuff credits as an emergency measure during the severest famine period.

To force down the high interest charges prevalent in Lithuania, new credits amounting to $43,000 have been granted the kassas in that country, where the repayments have for the first nine months of 1929 amounted to $22,000. A new credit of $35,000 will shortly be released to the Lithuanian kassas.

Sixteen credit kassas in Czecho-Slovakia have credits totalling $140,000; their outstanding loans are $500,000.

The development of the kassas in Latvia, declares Dr. Kahn, is on the whole, very satisfactory. They enjoy the full confidence of the Jewish population. In the three larger cities, Riga, Libau and Dwinsk, they have such large deposits that it is not always easy for them to place out their available cash on satisfactory interest terms.


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Dudley D. Sicher.

New York, Dec. 20, 1929.

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