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American Agrojoint Organisation Building Big Jewish Factory in Crimea

The Agrojoint, the instrument of the Joint Distribution Committee of America in the Jewish colonisation work in Russia, is in addition to its agricultural settlement work engaging also in a large-scale activity aiming at the industrialisation of the Jewish masses in the Soviet countries. Scores of Jewish co-operatives have been equipped by the Agrojoint in the past few years with machinery, tools and in some cases raw material. During last year, the Agrojoint subsidised with both money and machinery artisan industrial enterprises conducted by the relief societies in 58 towns and townships in the Ukraine, to the value of over 1½ million roubles (516,366), besides 22 Jewish co-operatives in Moscow, three in Leningrad and one in Simferopol, to the value of 363,813 roubles; making a total of nearly 900,000 roubles (880,813).

Up to January 1st., 1930, the Agrojoint subsidised 235 artisan industrial enterprises, with 6,330 workers; up to January 1st., 1931 it subsidised 336, with 18,476 workers, meaning that the number of such enterprises subsidised by the Agrojoint has increased in the course of the year by over 100, and the number of workers has been trebled.

The Agrojoint is now completing a big knitted-goods factory for 600 workers in Eupatoria, in the Crimea. The Crimean Government has given the old prison building to be used for the purpose of the factory, and the Agrojoint has rebuilt it so that it should be fitted for the functions of a factory. The cells have been transformed into factory floors, and a new storey has been added. A large restaurant has also been installed, where communal meals will be supplied to the workers, and dwelling places will also be built for the workers. The factory is equipped with the latest model machinery, brought over by the Agrojoint from abroad. The Agrojoint has called in foreign experts to instal the machinery and to teach the workers how to work them.

The factory will employ Jewish workers exclusively, mostly Jewish women from the small townships, where they have no prospect of earning a livelihood. When the factory is completed, it will be handed over to the local co-operative, which pledges itself by an agreement with the Agrojoint to keep it supplied with raw material and working capital. By the same agreement, the co-operative has pledged itself to employ only Jewish workers in this factory, and if this clause in the agreement is not conformed with, the Agrojoint has the right to remove from the factory the entire equipment, and to establish a factory of its own.

It is understood that the factory will be ready for work in December. It will be the largest knitted-goods factory in the Crimea, and is expected to play an important part in the industrialisation of the declassed Jewish population of the small towns.

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