A grain crop valued at more than a million dollars has been raised by farmers in the Cherson district of Southern Russia, living in agricultural ###onies established by the Joint Distribution Committee through funds raised # America by the United Jewish Campaign.This information was made public today by David A. Brown, who stated that it was contained in a cable sent from Russia by William Rosenwald to its father, Julius Rosenwald.
In his cable, William Rosenwald said that the cost to American philanthropy of establishing a single Jewish family to the soil was $250.
The younger Mr. Rosenwald, accompanied by Jacob Billikopf, has just visited the Crimea, Ukraine and other parts of Southern Russia. He found men and women, who a few months ago lived in constricted districts raising banner crops of wheat, excelling their peasant neighbors with the quality and quantity of their crops, and declared that the present harvest is an indication that the “back to the soil” movement of Jews in Russia is proving a philanthropic investment with unprecedented financial return.
In the Cherson district, Mr. Rosenwald reported, the Jewish colonists had raised a half million bushels of wheat beyond their personal needs, and their yield per acre, despite lack of working cattle, doubled that of their neighbors.
He declared that having interviewed numerous colonists, all of them expressed a desire to remain on the land, even if conditions in the cities improved, because greater security and more promising future was offered by their agrarian life.
“I am convinced that no other philanthropy would yield such returns,” he declared. “Work could be more than doubled at the same efficiency within the next year.”
Mr. Rosenwald’s cable to his father read:
“Tremendously impressed with colonies especially Cherson district which grew half million bushels wheat beyond personal needs. Total saleable produce worth million. Despite fewer working cattle Jews grew twice the weight per acre as neighboring Ukrainians and Jews poorest quality betters Ukrainians’ best. Relations satisfactory. All colonists said even if conditions in towns improve materially would remain account greater security and promising future. Average Agro-Joint investment $250 per family. Convinced no other philanthropy would yield such returns. Work could be more than doubled at same efficiency within next year.”
Calling this a great constructive social and philanthropic experiment, Mr. Brown in making public Mr. Rosenwald’s cabled report said:
“This is the first harvest for many of the agricultural colonists of Southern Russia. Mr. Rosenwald’s report and others which are coming to us daily from American and Russian observer indicate that it is an unqualified success. We have already settled close to seven thousand families on the land. They have devoted themeselves to the task of conquering the soil. With unparallelled energy, with a whole-heartedness equalled only by that of their American co-religionists in helping them. The seven thousand families, conservatively thirty thousand persons, will remain–this fact is verified by every investigator–for the enjoyment of that “peace and bread” which has been the unfulfilled dream of harrassed, long suffering Russian Jewry for many years.
“Seven thousand families are achieving their economic regeneration and the cost of this regeneration, to the American-Jewish Joint Distribution Committee which has made it possible, has, according to Mr. Rosenwald’s cable, been about $250 a family. Hundreds of thousands of fertile acres in Southern Russia await the plow and tractor. In the cities where disease, famine and excessive taxes have reduced a people to despair, thousands of families await word that their turn is coming to emigrate to the life-giving fields. Next year’s harvest time should find the numbers of colonists greatly increased. And, the money that comes into the treasury of the United Jewish Campaign this fall and winter will help to bring this into actuality. To these statements there can be only one conclusion–that during the coming months American Jewry must redouble its effort and must pour a flood of money across the sea. This great social and philanthropic experiment merits the participation of every American.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.