Ort to Settle Thousand Jews in Biro-bidjan

The American ORT Federation will settle 1,000 Eastern European Jews in Biro-Bidjan, Adolph Held, president of the Amalgamated Bank of New York, said today after his return from a tour of the autonomous Soviet Jewish region for the ORT.

Mr. Held visited Biro-Bidjan to ascertain the advisability of accepting an offer extended to the ORT to settle 1,000 Jews. He said today that his report would be favorable.

While declaring that the region had great possibilities, Mr. Held said the work was proceeding slowly and quoted the Governor of the region, M. Lieberberg, as saying it was difficult “to rebuild a whole country at once.”

The Jewish population of the region is now 15,000, he said, and it can absorb five to ten thousand persons a year. A thousand Jews will emigrate to Biro-Bidjan from Poland this year, he reported.

The great problem is building, Mr. Held declared, and construction is backward. However, the people are satisfied, the schools are good, the Government is friendly and the natural resources are rich, he stated.

He also visited Poland. There, Mr. Held asserted, the Jews’ situation appeared hopeless. He held that emigration was not the solution, pointing out that the exodus of 1,000,000 Polish Jews to America had not solved the problem.

“The Polish Jews have to show that they are as much citizens of Poland as anyone else,” he declared.

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