500,000 Jews Helped by New Soviet Legislation Giving Artisans Rights

A law granting much-desired privileges and rights to 100,000 Jewish artisans was promulgated here today. This piece of legislation will improve the economic and social status of nearly half a million Jews in Russia because the privileges extended to the heads of families are also applicable to the entire family.

This latest of a series of ordinances aimed at improving the lot of former declassed Jews who are now being industrialized applies only to those artisans who are organized in artels, or artisans cooperatives. The chief aim of the law is to place these Jewish artisans in many ways on a plane of equality, or at least near equality with factory workers.

The law provides that the Jewish artisans are to receive foodstuffs under the same conditions as factory workers provided they work in artels employing not less than 30 persons, permits them to pay rent at the same rate as workers, entitles them to obtain sick benefits on a par with workers, grants them government pensions similar to those given factory employes, allows them to become members of any government cooperative, and permits their children to enter government schools with the same privileges accorded workers’ children.

This sweeping law is being hailed in Jewish circles here as a rare piece of good fortune for the Jewish artisans who constitute a large section of the Jewish population.

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