How the Jews in New York are dealing with the problem of helping Jewish refugees from Germany is related by Harold A. Hoffman, president of the Central Synagogue of New York, in The Jewish Lo#man, organ of the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods. Mr. Hoffman gives the following details:
Between three and four thousand German Jewish refugees are already in the Metropolitan district of New York City. And as our unfortunate brethren from overseas continue to arrive in increasing numbers, our attention is more and more directed to the problem, “Now that they have come to us, what are we going to do about it?”
The problem is being met in New York City in various ways. Through the Joint Distribution Committee, the Council of Jewish Women and other organizations, an employment office has been opened under able leadership at 245 Fifth avenue. At Central Synagogue, the Brotherhood joined with the Sisterhood to initiate a series of gatherings, which have proved very successful.
OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS OF HERZL, BARON HIRSCH
The American Jewish Outlook, a new publication in Pittsburgh, commenting upon the order of the Soviet government to liquidate the Jewish Colonization Association activities in Russia, states:
The recent order of the Soviet government for the ending of Russian colonization by the Jewish Colonization Association brings once more to mind the great Baron Maurice de Hirsch whose solution of the Jewish problem differed so much from that of Theodore Herzl.
Both men were idealists; both dreamed. The one was a tremendously rich man while the other was a journalist of moderate means. Baron de Hirsch wanted to have all the Jews of Russia leave that country and settle in Argentina in South America. He backed his belief with the expenditure of fifty million dollars and succeeded in moving over 200,000 fellow Jews to other lands. But the plan has never inspired the rest of the world.
And now Baron de Hirsch is gone; his colonization association has been materially weakened. The movement had money but lacked the magnet, Palestine. Herzl’s Zionism, without very much money during its early years, continues to grow.
KNOWLEDGE ESSENTIAL TO A COMPLETE LIFE
The need for Jewish education for the younger generation is emphasized in an appeal in The Jewish Western Bulletin of Vancouver, Canada. The appeal points out:
Never before in the history of modern Jewish life had there been a greater need to instill into the minds and character of the younger generation the acquiring of a complete Jewish education. No longer is it possible for the Jew to retain his identity without bringing with him the culture for which he stands.
That culture cannot be obtained without an adequate understanding of the Hebrew language, and with such an understanding the doors are opened to the vast stores of knowledge necessary for a complete Jewish life. It is only by giving the children, before they reach manhood, the opportunity of being steeped in Hebrew lore, that Hebrew culture is obtainable.
SIGNIFICANCE OF BIRO-BIDJAN
Under the headline, “A Haven for the Persecuted,” The Jewish Advocate of Boston publishes the following editorial.
A new chapter in Jewish history opened when the first Soviet Congress of Biro-Bidjan, the autonomous Jewish region in the Soviet Union, held its inaugural session and started Biro-Bidjan officially on its initial lap as an administrative Jewish government unit within the framework of the U. S. S. R.
This event is the climax of six years of patient and plodding effort begun when Michael Kalinin, president of the Soviet Union, first proclaimed that Biro-Bidjan would be set aside as a Jewish republic to be developed on the same principles of autonomy which have provided the solution of the national problems of the U. S. S. R. At that time few people visualized Biro-Bidjan as a future asylum for harassed Jews from Eastern and Central Europe.
Today, coincidentally with the opening of the Soviet Congress of Biro-Bidjan, Biro-Bidjan has assumed a significant place in the plans of those looking for new homes for hundreds of thousands of economically hopeless and politically disenfranchised Eastern and Central European Jews. Hardly a day passes without a new report about far-reaching plans for settling substantial numbers of foreign Jews in Biro-Bidjan.