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J.D.B. News Letter

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“God went bankrupt” was the pronouncement of the Jewish Communists of the town Vapniarke, Tultchin District, in resolving to convert the local synagogue into a factory. This is the first case in the Ukraine of a synagogue being turned into a factory.

A “Cherem,” religious ban, was pronounced by the local rabbi against all those assisting in changing the synagogue into a factory. The Communists, however, derided the ban.

The Zaratchi synagogue of Vitebsk was converted into a Jewish tailors’ club. A red flag was substituted for the Parocheth, the curtain before the Ark.

Another synagogue, that in the small town Pyatigorsky, Belozerkov district, will be converted into a Kulturhaus by a decision of the local Communists.

The danger that synagogues will be converted into offices exists in Zlatopole, Zaporozhje, the second self-governing Jewish district. It was declared that since the district requires buildings for government offices and the Communists are acquiring the synagogues, which are the best buildings, it was only right to utilize them for better purposes than the recital of the Psalm, Ashrei.

In the town Dunevetz, Kameniez district, a campaign was started against the local Melamdim, Hebrew teachers. In Dunevetz the Hebrew teachers are still active, some having more than thirty pupils. The local Yevsektzia therefore decided to conduct a drive against them.

The danger that the declassed Jews in some towns of the Ukraine will not be able to secure the food products they lack, even if they are willing to pay for them, was seen from reports received here.

The Soviet laws forbid declassed persons from becoming members of the cooperatives which now are the only source of supply, since private stores are disappearing. Until now the declassed bought their foodstuffs from private markets, paying a higher price. Now, in many towns, not a single private dealer remains and the declassed have no place to buy from.

The situation is so serious that local Jewish Communist leaders are appealing for a modification of the cooperative law to enable the cooperatives to sell to the declassed who, otherwise, are destined to starve or migrate. The Communists emphasize that even up to the present the declassed could not afford to pay the high prices to the private dealers. Now however, the problem must be solved.

A number of declassed persons have been working for some months in the brick and sugar factories. They are

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not yet entitled, however, to be classified as workers. With an average earning of 24 roubles a month, they cannot exist if the cooperatives refuse to sell them products.

A similar situation exists in White Russia where a great number of Jewish artisans have lost their cooperative privileges, having been expelled from the artisan cooperatives.

Fearing that their land will be transferred to the Jewish collectives during the collectivization process in the Ukraine, peasants in the village Marinovka, Pervomask region, under the leadership of the secretary of the village Communist party, Malinchenko, resolved at a meeting to oppose the collectivization of Jewish farms.

The tense situation in the Pokrovsk and Guliapole regions is getting better, according to a special government investigation committee, which reported that the Ukrainians have been pacified. However, in some places they are still sending cattle into the Jewish fields. The local authorities have taken measures.

The commission found the houses in the Pokrovsk region poorly built, about twelve per cent impossible for dwelling purposes. The water there is bad and there is only a limited supply. A great loss was suffered when 87 horses and 14 cows died because of lack of forage. In the region the collectivization of Jewish farms has reached forty per cent.

David Schweitzer, of the European office of the Joint Distribution Committee, who made a tour of the Jewish colonies, stated to the representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Jewish colonists in the Crimea had a good crop, sufficient for bread for the whole year. The only question was what part of the crop to give to the government.

Mr. Schweitzer visited Jankoy, a colony which he had visited previously. The optimisim among the colonists was greater than on his first visit, he stated.

Albert D. Schanzer, Chairman of the Flatbush Division of the United Palestine Appeal, and President of the Brooklyn Jewish Big Brother and Big Sister Association, was designated as the regular Democratic nominee for Assembly from the 2nd Assembly District, Brooklyn, N. Y.

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