(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
The Jewish community of Harbin, now under Chinese rule, is experiencing hard times in its fight to maintain its reilgious and communal life.
The Chinese authorities have refused to ratify the statutes of the Harbin Jewish community, and have ordered it to cease functioning. The authorities declared that it is impossible in China, where even the citizens of Soviet Russia have no extra-territorial rights, to allow the existence of a Jewish institution with the right to unite all Jewish institutions and impose a tax upon its members. This would be a state within a state, the authorities declared.
The issuance of documents, such as birth, marriage and death certificates, was transferred to the jurisdiction of the rabbis of the individual congregations. All the institutions which made up the community have now submitted applications for ratification of their individual statutes.
The Chinese authorities of Harbin have also closed the Jewish Society for Literature, Music and Drama, which had existed for the last eighteen years and had legal existence even under the Czarist regime. The society was in possession of a large library, reading room and maintained several cultural institutions.
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.