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The Baron

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One man alone brought more Palestine land into Jewish hands than has the entire Zionist Organization. The same man put more money into Palestine than the Zionist Organization has been able to raise and put into Palestine over a period of many years.

This man was Baron Edmond de Rothschild.

The death of Baron Rothschild is one of the greatest losses in Jewish history. Although not a Zionist, he was a “one-man Zionist movement” in himself. He invested over Sixty million dollars in Palestine. He pursued his constructive work there quietly, through the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, known as the PICA. The PICA now owns in Palestine about half a million dunam of land, which is almost twice as much as the land owned by the Jewish National Fund.

Universally known as the “Nadiv Hayodua”—the Famous Philanthropist—he played a great and distinctive part in Jewish life. Though no Zionist, Baron Rothschild manifested his hope for national restoration of the Jewish people in Palestine by joining the mixed Jewish Agency as Honorary President, but as a non-Zionist.

He became interested in settling Jews in Palestine when notice was brought to him that some fellow-Jews who, driven out of Czarist Russia in consequence of the pogroms there, had a desire to settle themselves on land and change their lives from shiftless peddling to the oldest industry known to mankind.

The death of Baron Rothschild comes as a shock to world Jewry at this moment when Jews are seeking refuge from Germany, Austria, Poland and many other countries. The fate of these unfortunates had been taken as much to heart by Baron Rothschild as the fate of the Jewish exiles from Russia. Plans had been laid by him this year for assisting these victims. New land had been acquired for this purpose by the PICA.

Now the news comes that the venerable philanthropist has suddenly passed away. He will be deeply mourned by Jews all over the world.

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