A plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the ORT has been held here, attended by twenty-seven representatives of the local committees in Warsaw, Lodz, Wilno, Bialystok, Brisk and other cities, at which a number of resolutions were adopted, providing for the expansion of the existing network of vocational extension classes for artisans. A number of measures were indicated for extending agricultural work among the Jews in Poland, especially on areas belonging to individuals and Jewish communities.
The local ORT committees have been called upon to increase their membership and their local income. It was reported to the meeting that efforts are being made to increase this year the budget of the ORT, which in 1934 exceeded half a million zlotys (nearly $100,000), and that the present campaign in Poland for funds for the ORT is developing very favorably.
It was emphasized, however, that Polish Jewry is not in a position to carry out all the tasks of the ORT by its own financial means. The plenary meeting, therefore, approved the application of the ORT committee to the Committee of the Anglo-Jewish Appeal for Polish Jewry to assist the ORT activity in Poland by a grant of 150,000 zlotys (about $30,000).
FARMERS IN TROUBLE
Reports presented by the agricultural expert of the Central Committee of the Polish ORT, who is now on a tour of inspection of the Jewish agricultural settlements in Poland, state that the farmers are having great difficulties during the present Spring season.
There is grave danger that most of the important seasonal work will remain undone, because the Central Committee has been unable to grant all the credits needed by the farmers for their work. The credits which have been granted have been utilized by some of the ORT agricultural cooperative groups for planting medicinal herbs, for the reestablishment of bee-keeping farms, and breeding Angora rabbits for export purposes. Special attention was also given to the planting of a considerable quantity of better quality fruit trees.
START CENTRAL DISTRIBUTION
To increase the marketing facilities of the ORT agricultural groups, a central selling agency has been established in Grodno. Several Jewish farmers at Zoluck and Oliserki have been enabled to enlarge the area of land in their possession.
There is an increasing tendency reported among the Jewish population of Poland to take up agriculture, and the ORT is helping these prospective farmers to form cooperative groups. Applications for assistance along these lines have been received from Baranovitch and Zambrov, near Bialystok. This assistance involves not only the acquisition of land implements, seeds, trees and the like, but also legal advice and credits.
A special circular has been sent out by the Central Committee of the ORT to its local branches to encourage the movement as much as possible.
The agricultural committee of the Central Executive of the Polish ORT and a number of local committees are now engaged in investigating the commercial prospects of establishing vegetable gardens in the neighborhood of the cities.