TORONTO (May. 21)
The Canadian Jewish National Fund voted at its national conference to accept complete responsibility for a $2,000,000-land redemption and resettlement project on the Jordanian border between Jerusalem and Beersheba.
The proposal was submitted by Dr. Jacob Tsur, JNF board of directors world chairman. It will be known as the D’vir project and to make possible an immediate start on land reclamation for the project, the conference voted to obtain a bank loan of $2,000,000 to be advanced to Israel. The loan will be repaid from future campaigns of the JNF in Canada.
The D’vir project is the second major Canadian Jewish reclamation project. A Zionist convention in Winnipeg in 1927 adopted a $1,000,000 drive to redeem the Emek Hepher district which is now a flourishing area of towns and settlements on what was once malaria-infested swampland.
Dr. Tsur told the conference that the soil in the Hebron hills, site of the D’vir project, was not suitable for cultivation and that the valley areas will be usable for farming only after basic land reclamation. The project will complete a chain of defense settlements along the entire border. He said the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization will cooperate in the reclamation project.
Experimental soil and weather research will begin this summer. Projects will include drilling for water, building of dams to save rain, building of roads, planting of fruit trees and experiments in growing fodder for cattle. Rabbi Milton Aaron of Winnipeg was elected president of the Canadian JNF.