Some of the problems involved in the work of settling German Jews in Palestine and some of the results obtained by the Central Bureau for the Settlement of German Jews in Palestine, which he directs, were described to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here by Dr. Werner Senator, member of the Jewish Agency Executive in Jerusalem. Dr. Senator is now in Berlin for consultations in connection with these activities and to make preparations for the September session of the Council of the Jewish Agency at Lucerne.
The work of the Central Bureau, he said, is conducted with the funds raised in the campaigns of 1933-34 and 1934-35. New drives for this special purpose will not be undertaken. The work of the Central Bureau, which was previously conducted within the framework of the activity of the Jewish Agency Executive, will therefore later on be completely incorporated in the general work of the Executive of the Jewish Agency and continued in the same way as before.
With regard to the immigration of Jews from Germany into Palestine, he declared, it is not yet possible, after two years of systematic settlement by the Central Bureau, to give any definite judgment concerning its success, but a general estimate could be made, and this was absolutely positive.
In view of the difficult problem created by the preponderance of settlement in the towns as compared with agricultural settlement, Dr. Senator expressed particular satisfaction that a comparatively higher proportion of the immigrants from Germany have gone on the land.
“At a time of sudden mass immigration it is impossible to prevent a comparatively larger growth of the towns which absorb the immigrants at the very first. But this is only transitional. There is a tendency to direct the immigration from the towns to the land into productive occupations necessary for the development of the country, and the work of the Central Bureau for the Settlement of German Jews is making it possible to realize these efforts.
Twenty-five per cent of the immigration from Germany goes immediately on the land, he declared. He described the three categories of immigrants as: 1) Young people, up to the age of 18, who are put into land settlements either direct from Germany, or with the aid of the Central Bureau from the Palestinian towns in which they had taken up residence on arrival with their parents; 2) Chalutzim groups; and 3) about 400 middle class families who have, with the aid of the Central Bureau, undergone Hachsharah either on National Fund soil or private land, and settled in a colony organized and parceled out by the German section of the Agency.
Dr. Senator paid tribute to the excellent work of the Working Committee for Youth Immigration conducted in Palestine under the direction of Miss Henrietta Szold.
“The Department for Settlement of Jews from Germany has endeavored to increase the absorptive capacity of the existing settlements for new settlers by devoting special attention to the problems of dwelling houses and subsidiary work,” he declared. “In general, the policy is to increase the permanent provision of employment, in agriculture by credits for production and water, and in the towns for artisan and middle class work.”
Speaking of urban settlement, Dr. Senator said that the Central Bureau has set up training courses for vocational reconstruction at the Technical High School in Haifa, Tel Aviv and in the larger colonies. “Sound private initiative,” he said, “is promoted by the grant of middle class small credits. The statistics of the American Economic Committee show how strongly the German immigration seeks productive work in the towns. A walk through the industrial quarter of the Haifa Bay and the industrial enterprises from Ramath Gan to Petach Tikvah show to what a large extent Jews from Germany are co-operating in the industrialization of Palestine and thereby in the creation of permanent employment. In general,” he concluded, “the economic situation in Palestine continues to be most favorable.”