Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Digest of Public Opinion on Jewish Matters

August 29, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

[The purpose of the Digest is informative: Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does not indicate approval.–Editor.]

That Julius Rosenwald, the noted American Jewish philanthropist, would have no objection to participating in the work of Palestine reconstruction if he were convinced that Palestine had sufficient raw materials, is the statement attributed to him by David Yellin, president of the Vaad Leumi, National Council of Palestine Jews, according to “Ha-aretz,” Hebrew paper of Tel Aviv.

Quoting Mr. Yellin as expressing the wish that Rosenwald should be “attracted” to the Palestine work, “Ha-aretz” takes Mr. Rosenwald to task as follows:

“Who ‘attracted’ Mr. Rosenwald to give millions for the Negroes and for various scientific expeditions in all parts of the world? And who ‘attracted’ Baron Edmund Rothschild to Palestine? Rothschild did not seek raw materials in Palestine. He sought for the Jews a vineyard, wheat fields and farms, and these he found. Rothschild discovered human material in Palestine and hence, as far back as thirty years ago, he said to his representative as he stood on a hill in Palestine and pointed with his cane: this land must be purchased and that land, and the land over there too. Today all that land is settled and cultivated and the Jews are earning their bread and butter tilling the fields.

“If Rosenwald had less interest in raw materials and more in human material, he would realize that at the present time to settle 20,000 Jews in Palestine is no less important than to allot new budgets for Negro schools. It is not that Palestine lacks raw materials but simply that Palestine is not in Mr. Rosenwald, and that is why it is difficult to ‘attract’ him even if he were told that hundreds of thousands of Jews can be settled.”

Praise for Mr. Rosenwald’s recent gift of $3,000,000 for an Industrial Museum in Chicago, is contained in an editorial of the “Chicago Chronicle” of Aug. 20, wherein we read:

“We have grown accustomed to hearing of seven figure donations by Julius Rosenwald, and we might be apt therefore to lose at least part of our enthusiasm in the appreciation of them were it not for the lofty and exceedingly useful purposes for which our peerless philanthropist gives of his riches. He gives freely but not haphazardly. His gifts are almost as much an expression of his personality as all true art is the expression of the personality of an authentic artist.

“And now in giving three million dollars for an industrial museum, this high-minded benefactor of his fellow men has enriched our city and his city in a way which makes cities truly great.”


Whether the renunciation by Turkish Jewry of its national minority rights can be effectual “is at least open to doubt, for Turkey is bound to them by treaty obligation,” avers the London “Jewish World” of August 19.

Nevertheless, the paper hopes that the action of the National Assembly of Jewish notables in Turkey “will not be found other than an entirely satisfactory move.” Referring to the promise of the Angora government “to return all property of Jews which was recently confiscated, to permit the return to Turkey of Jews who left occupied Turkish territory with non-Turkish passports, and gradually to remove the discrimination against the Jews in the public services,” the paper feels that–

“It looks like a fair and square deal, and all other Jews will only hope that, subject to the views of the other signatories of the Treaty which created the rights, the good relations now set up between the Jews of Turkey and the Turkish Government may never be again broken. Turkey has an excellent tradition in this respect which it is pleasing to see it evidently means to carry on.”


Soviet President Kalenin’s observation, made in the course of his recent statement on Jewish colonization, that Zionism is “supported by foreign Jewish capitalists,” is criticized by Rabbi Louis I. Newman, writing in “The Scribe” (Portland, Oregon), of Aug. 20.

“There is supreme irony in the situation created by the Russian colonization project,” Rabbi Newman says. “The Soviet President says that Zionism is ‘supported by foreign Jewish capitalists.’ The truth of the matter is that Zionism is a movement of the Jewish masses and middle classes; the five million raised for the United Palestine Appeal in 1925-26 came from the poor and the moderately well-to-do. On the other hand, the nearly twenty millions for the three years of the United Jewish Campaign came largely from the Jewish capitalist class in America, particularly in New York. The Soviet leaders who oppose and confiscate the possessions of the capitalists in Russia are joining hands with the Jewish millionaires in the United States to foster the colonization scheme as a counterfoil to Palestine.”

Rabbi Newman also objects to the present ratio of nearly 60 per cent of the United Jewish Campaign funds for the Russian colonization plan and 40 per cent for Polish and allied relief. Declaring his opinion that “the United Jewish Campaign was successful not because the Russian colonization scheme was emphasized, but because the distress of Polish Jewry was used as the ‘selling point’ of the entire propaganda,” Rabbi Newman proceeds:

“American Jewry has a right to know whether this proportion is to be followed in the allocation of the twenty millions collected in the United Jewish Campaign. A tremendous treasure-chest has been placed in the hands of the Joint Distribution Committee, giving it the ever-enormous power of the purse. Now that it has the money, it can virtually command the situation unless Jewish public opinion is watchful and demands a constant accounting. Will the Joint Distribution Committee give American Jewry an opportunity to make its will felt? Or will it unconcernedly go ahead with its proposal to pour the money collected, with a ratio of nearly 60 per cent into the Russian colonization scheme, and 40 per cent into Polish and allied relief?”

Recommended from JTA