Bucharest (Sep. 5)
Since Constanza, Rumania’s port on the Black Sea, became an important harbor because of the regular transports taking Jews from Rumania and Poland to Palestine, and since the establishment of a Rumania-Palestinian chamber of commerce, general interest in Palestine has grown here to a considerable extent. This interest is best exemplified by the increase in the number of articles on Palestinian subjects, such as the Levant Fair, which have been featured in the non-Jewish press.
This increased interest is still stronger, of course, in Jewish circles. The East European Jew of Rumania, like the Polish Jew, is predisposed to Zionism, for political and economic reasons, and Palestine is for him the object of positive activity, not merely of sentimental yearning. But, for economic reasons, the Zionist movement here has not reached considerable proportions, although the leaders have sought to make every person who calls himself a Zionist a paying member of the Zionist Organizations.
Zionist funds have fared somewhat better, especially the National Fund. The work is headed by Ludwig Bato, who has succeeded in enlisting the aid of Jewish student youth. Frau Vidovoci, delegate of the Keren Kayemeth Central Committee in Palestine, is also active in this work. Dr. M. Helfman, former Jerusalem eye specialist, heads the work for the Keren Hayesod, acting as speaker and writer.
At the suggestion of the Keren Hayesod the Zionist Organization has also begun the publication of a number of brochures on Zionism, relating its history and ideals, and providing information about Palestine. The various efforts described have resulted in the raising of a million lei (about $10,000) for the Keren Kayemeth fund for German refugees in but a few months, despite the internal party struggles which obtain here, as elsewhere, and the economic difficulties of Rumanian Jewry.
It is hoped that the success of the Zionist campaigns will be an incentive towards close cooperation between Rumania Jewish groups.