That the credit cooperatives established in Poland by the Joint Distribution Committee are the strongest factor in the rebuilding of the economic life of the Jews of that country, was the consensus of opinion expressed at the united annual conference of the Federation of Jewish Cooperatives which met in Warsaw during the latter part of June.
At the same time delegates of fifty Gemilath Chesed (Free Loan) Kassas of the Warsaw district found it necessary to send a cablegram to the Joint Distribution Committee appealing for further aid in saving Polish Jewry “which is suffering immensely through the great economic crisis.”
Several hundred delegates attended the convention of the Federation of Credit Cooperatives, which consists of Kassas organized by the Joint Distribution Comittee, the American Joint Reconstruction Foundation (in which the Jewish Colonization Association is a partner) and other interested organizations.
Dr. Leib Silberstein, chairman of the board of directors of the Federation, declared, in his report, that the success of the credit cooperatives had far exceeded the most sanguine expectations of their organizers. They have developed, he said, according to advices received at national headquarters of the Allied Jewish Campaign, into the strongest factor in the economic reconstruction not only of the Jews of Poland, but of the Jews in many other East European countries.
It was demonstrated at the convention that the Jewish Credit Cooperative movement embraces the greatest part of the Polish-Jewish population. There are credit-Kassas in practically every city and town. Although the development of the movement, it was made clear, is continuous, it is suffering because of the serious economic crisis, which, affecting the whole country, is inflicting especial hardships on the Jews. Nevertheless, the convention felt, that with the continued assistance of American Jewry, it will be possible eventually, to carry the development of the cooperatives to a point where no outside assistance will be necessary.
Gratitude was expressed at the convention to the Jews of America for their many manifestations of solidarity with the suffering Jews of Eastern Europe and for the continuance, through the Allied Jewish Campaign, of their efforts to ameliorate the condition of the vast numbers who are still struggling to rebuild their lives on the ashes of the great disaster that began in 1914.