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Soviet Reorganizes Biro-bidjan Settlement Work; to Stress Agriculture

The Central Executive Committee of the U.S.S.R., in its first statement on Jewish policy, today outlined plans for reorganization of settlement work in the autonomous Jewish region of Biro-Bidjan to place greater emphasis on agriculture.

Recalling the centuries-old struggle of the Jews for the right to create their own culture and education unhindered in their development, the committee said that “for the first time in the history of the Jewish people this deep-felt desire has been realized through the establishment of a Jewish region.”

The statement embodied decisions on economic and cultural development of the Siberian territory adopted at the council’s meeting on Aug. 29.

Paying tribute to Jewish achievements in instituting the technique of Socialist agriculture, as well as accomplishments in artisanship and industry, the committee declared that Biro-Bidjan was gradually emerging as the center of a Soviet national Jewish culture.

Increased interest among Jewish workers of Russia in the experiment was noted. The desire to migrate to Biro-Bidjan is growing, not only among the Jews of Russia, but abroad, the statement said.

It proceeded to outline the details of reorganization of settlement work to give the fullest attention to agricultural settlement. The Commissariat of Agriculture was instructed to have a plan ready for development of about 250,000 acres.

Plans were also outlined for strengthening cooperative organizations of artisans.

The statement, signed by President Kalinin and Ivan Akulof, secretary of the council, ordered the Far Eastern, Ukrainian and White Russian executives to cooperate in the Biro-Bidjan work, paying particular attention to assisting in selection of settlers.

An expression of confidence that Jewish workers and Soviet public opinion would apply all strength to the rapid completion of the task of creating a national Jewish state concluded the statement.

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