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News Letters Tell of Jewish Life Abroad

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The intensification and speeding-up of the work of Jewish settlement in Soviet Russia is announced in the Report of the Soviet Executive Committee on the work of the “Komzet” (Government Commission for Jewish Settlement), which has just been issued.

“During the last few years,” the report says, “the Komzet has done much work for the settling of Jews on the land and for the raising of the economic welfare of the working-class Jews in the Soviet Union. It has, in the last five years, settled over 175,000 Jews in collective farms and it has trained a very large number of Jews for work in State and co-operative industries. Over 40,000 young Jews have received special training and been given employment in the large new schemes of construction, e.g. Dnieprostroi, Magnitogorsk, etc.”

The Komzet, however, the report continues, has not paid sufficient attention to the Jewish settlement in Biro-Bidjan. It has not overcome the difficulties standing in the way of this scheme, and has not taken measures to strengthen the position of the Jewish settlers there. This fact, together with the failure of various local authorities and government organs to carry out the instructions of the Central Executive Committee, are responsible for the fact that the Government’s decision to found in Biro-Bidjan a Jewish national territorial and administrative unit will not be carried into effect within the specified time.

In order to create more favorable conditions for the settlement of working-class Jews in Biro-Bidjan, the Government has instructed the Far Eastern Executive Committee to create real and practical openings for Jewish settlers in the various local industries—agriculture, forestry, works of amelioration, the timber industry and the other industrial undertakings of the district. In the first place the building of houses for the settlers is to be accelerated.

The suggestion of the Far Eastern Executive Committee, that Biro-Bidjan should be formed into an autonomous Jewish national territory, has been passed on to the All-Union Executive Committee for consideration.

The report ends with a survey of the work done in settling Jews in the Crimea and the Ukraine, and the Komzet is instructed to end the work of settling Jews in collective farms there within two years. In future all energies are to be directed towards making the Biro-Bidjan scheme a success.

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