thus enabling thousands of Jewish families to earn their livelihood. In the course of six years Jewish artisans and small industrialists in various countries of Eastern Europe have received Ort machines and tools to the value of 10 million Marks on credit.
The continuation of this work of redirecting the Jewish population of Eastern Europe into productive occupations will be endangered, Dr. Lvovitch said, if the most important part of this work â€” the Jewish training schoolsâ€”collapses.
The schools are no longer, he said, in a position to bear their enormous burden of deficits, due to the fact that the impoverished Jewish population of Eastern Europe is no longer able to pay even the former modest subsidies towards these schools, while at the same time the financial means of the Central Organization are exhausted.
The Vilna Technicum, the only Jewish Technical high school in Eastern Europe, an institution which has trained over 300 qualified Jewish technicians for industrial enterprises, is on the verge of collapse. A number of evening schools for apprentices and workshops have already been closed down in Poland and Bessarabia. The teachers who have for years made serious sacrifices, staying at their posts even while faced by literal starvation, are now leaving some of the schools in desperation to seek other employment.
If things go on in this way, Dr. Lvovitch pointed out, the school administrations will have to sell their inventory and buildings to pay the teachers their arrears of salaries.
He warned Jewish public opinion not to think that it was merely a question of temporarily closing down the schools, because immediately the schools were closed down, the creditors would compel the school administrations to sell the buildings and inventories, and it was unthinkable that they should be able under present circumstances to reconstruct their school system on which several hundred thousand dollars of Jewish money had been spent during the last 10 years.
The legal position of the school system would also be seriously menaced if they were temporarily closed down, he continued. They had to work hard before they obtained from the authorities in Poland, Bessarabia, Lithuania and other countries the necessary permits for each separate school in which Yiddish is used as the language of instruction, and if once the schools were closed down, the concessions would lapse and new concessions for new institutions would not be obtainable.
The promises obtained by the Ort administration after much effort from the Polish, Roumanian and Lithuanian Governments to subsidize the Yiddish technical training schools could be carried into effect only if the schools continued to work.