Hope that the Soviet Government may find it possible to open the gates of Biro-Bidjan for German Jewish refugees was voiced at yesterday’s luncheon of the American Committee for the Settlement of German Jewish Refugees in U. S. S. R., meeting at the Bankers’ Club.
Expressing appreciation of the “unqualified political, social and economic equality, including full national self-determination, enjoyed by the Jews,” the committee pledged its readiness to co-operate in the selection of refugees, raise the necessary funds to facilitate their passage and the initial expenses incident to their establishment in the new country.
To expedite their task, the Committee organized a special group headed by Dr. John T. Madden, dean of the school of Finance, New York University.
The commission will visit the Soviet Union and it is authorized to negotiate with the Russian government for the conclusion of a definite agreement which would provide for the settlement of refugees in that country, particularly in Biro-Bidjan, and for definite assistance that is to be rendered by the American Committee and the Soviet Government for that purpose.
A report to the Committee will be rendered by the Commission on its return. Lord Dudley Marley, honorary chairman of the committee and other European leaders will be consulted.
Another plan being launched at present by the American Committee is the organization of a good will tour to consist of reprehensive men and women of their respective communities in the United States, who are anxious to get first-hand knowledge of the reconstruction of Jewish life on productive foundations in Russia. It is planned to include in the tour all autonomous Jewish districts in European Russia. The tour will take place simultaneously with the trip of the commission so that participants will have the benefit of expert counsel and assistance.
The committee is expected to return before the end of August. In the meantime the American Committee will be engaged with plans for raising funds.
Among those present at yesterday’s luncheon were: Edward I. Aronow, Jules I. Bogen, J. M. Budish, William W. Cohen, Harvey Kivelson, Max Levin, Dr. John T. Madden, Marcus Nadler, Charles Recht, Miles M. Sherover, S. A. Trone, George Gordon Battle, Joseph W. Pincus, Joseph Marcus and Dr. Jacob G. Lepman, dean of Rutgers Agricultural College.