Describing the work of settling the German Jews in the last two years, Dr. Ruppin declared that the 25,000 who have entered Palestine brought with them a total capital of $25,000,000 in addition to valuable technical knowledge.
The extent of the progress made in the past 25 years was graphically illustrated by Dr. Ruppin when he painted a contrast between the situation of Jewry in Palestine in 1910 and today. In 1910, when the Zionist Organization made its first purchase of land in the Valley of Jezreel, there were only 70,000 Jews in all Palestine, he pointed out. Of this number, it is estimated that two-thirds were dependent upon charity from abroad.
At the outbreak of the war the Jewish population rose to 85,000 but fell by the end of the war to 65,000. This situation affords a sharp contrast, he said, with the situation today when there are 350,000 Jews in Palestine. The country now has 180 agricultural settlements occupying 1,300,000 dunams, with a population of 70,000 of whom 40,000 are engaged in agriculture.
Dr. Ruppin stated his belief that there is still greater room for growth through the development within Palestine of necessary agricultural industries. The amount of agricultural products the country still finds it necessary to import, he emphasized, indicates that there is room at present for at least 2,000 more families in agriculture.
“My principal for the past twenty-five years has been,” he said, ” first to develop agriculture to meet our own needs, then to worry about production for export.”
After Dr. Ruppin’s address, Menachem Mendel Ussishkin spoke on the problems and achievements of the Jewish national home.
Leib Jaffe, speaking on fifteen years of Keren Hayesod work, pointed out that #5,500,000 has been raised by the organization in that period. He stressed the urgency of increased support of the Keren Hayesod to permit extension of its basic activities. He emphasized the need of linking contributors by close bonds.