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Brown Comments on German Correspondent’s Report from Russia

November 28, 1928
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

David A. Brown, National Chairman of the United Jewish Campaign, commented yesterday in reply to an inquiry of the “Jewish Bulletin” with reference to the report of Paul Scheffer, Moscow correspondent of “Das Berliner Tageblatt” in which a gloomy picture of the conditions in which one million Jews find themselves in Russia was presented.

“With reference to your inquiry in connection with the article that appeared in ‘The New York World’ of the 24th credited to Paul Scheffer of the ‘Berliner Tageblatt,’ captioned ‘Million Jews at Starvation Point,’ and dealing with the condition of Jews in the villages and colonies, our reports from Russia coming direct from Dr. Joseph A. Rosen and Dr. George Lubarski, chief agronomist of the Agro-Joint in Russia, inform us that the situation is much better than it was in the spring and that the general attitude of the peasant is optimistic-if that word can be used in connection with the condition of the Jewish people in Russia,” Mr. Brown declared.

“Time and time again we have tried to make clear to the people of America the exact situation of the Jews in Russia–that at best it is a tragic existence; that with trading almost impossible at the present time the small middleman in the villages is without means of livelihood; that even those who have gone on the land in the hope of bettering their condition have had to contend with extreme hardships which they willingly bore in the hope of a better day in the future. The Agro-Joint through the funds provided by the Joint Distribution Committee have not confined their activities to work in the colonies but have tried insofar as possible, with the limited funds at their command, to do everything within their power to be helpful to the Jews in the cities and villages.

“As has been stated repeatedly, if we were to attack the relief problem in Russia as we do in America, a campaign for hundreds of millions of dollars instead of one for twenty-five millions would have been necessary. We here realize that the crop failure in certain sections of Russia this year brought with it added responsibilities which the Agro-Joint dealt with promptly as did the Russian Government, for without the help of the Government the limited funds at the disposal of the Agro-Joint would have been useless in attempting to prevent great suffering and possible loss of life.

“Mr. Scheffer admits in this article that if it were not for the millions spent in Russia by the Agro-Joint the situation of the Jews would be much worse. He further states that those Jews who have been established on the land with the assistance of these American millions constantly praise the work of the Joint Distribution Committee.

“Evidently Mr. Scheffer is in error when he states that taxes are crushing the Jews in the new colonies. In our agreement with the Russian Government it is understood that the new colonies are to be free from taxation for a period of five years. This is only one of the concessions made by the Government in connection with the establishment of the Jewish colonies in all parts of Russia.

“That there is need for greater relief measures all of us who have visited the country and are familiar with its economic conditions have admitted privately and publicly. We realize that at best the funds available even though they run into millions, will make possibly only a minimum of relief. But it is that minimum which is saving the lives of countless thousands of men, women and children and has created within these people a spirit of hope that make them willing to carry on during one of the most trying periods in the history of the Jews,” he concluded.

Mrs. Sol Well of Goldsborn, N. C., died at the age of 73. Mrs. Weil was active in all Jewish movements locally and nationally. She was a chartered member of the Oheb Sholem Sisterhood, and for many years its president. She founded the North Carolina State Association of Jewish Women of which she was the first president and the honorary president until her death. She founded and endowed the “Sophie Einstein Student Loan Fund, and also endowed a scholarship at the Hebrew Union College. In addition to her Jewish interests, she actively participated and many times served in the offices of the various civic and philanthropic organizations of the city and state.

Institutions receive $7,000 under the terms of the will of Otto E. Dryfoos of New York who died November 3. The will indicated that his estate would be more than $250,000.

The Hebrew Orphan Asylum receives $5,000, and bequests of $1,000 each pass to the Beth-E1 Sisterhood, 329 East Sixty-second Street, and the Convalescent Home for Hebrew Children, Rockaway Park.

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