Dear James N. R.â€”
You ask me why I devote so much time to altruistic work, rather than follow my many hobbies, such as yachting, art and prints.
The reason is that ever snce I looked into our East Sde tenement house windows for the first time in 1894 and saw parents at their machines, working until midnight so that their children might have the advantage of an easier life and college education, I have learned to respect and love them. Ever since I have seen the farmers in the Russian colonies who, forgetting their former life in easier circumstances, are, without complaint, proudly tilling the soil so that their children will never know the pangs of famine nor the shame of being considered declasse, I cannot forget their faces and feel that I must help them to achieve their modest requestâ€”to enable them to bring up their families in self-respect and self-support. And, thirdly, when somewhat against my will I went to Palestine and saw with my own eyes the pioneers who would sacrifice the comforts of life and the possibilities of amassing a fortune for the sake of planting their children on the soil of their ancestors, under simple conditions and high ideals, I felt that they had the right to the little help which we are planning to give them.
In the Federation, in the Joint Distribution Committee, and in Jewish Agency work, I have been thrown with Jews of all classes, not only here but abroad, and I think I have the right to say that friendships have been established with people born in nearly every country of the globe, born under all kinds of circumstances. We have touched each other’s souls. We respect each other. We have formed friendships which will enrich our lives.
Very sincerely yours,
Felix M. Warburg.