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Additional $1,100,000 Will Be Expended in Russia, Joint Distribution Committee Announces

March 15, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Additional aid approximating $1,100,000 will be expended for the Russian Jewish farmers during the current year through D. Joseph Rosen, head of the Agro-Joint, the agency of the Joint Distribution Committee in Russia, according to an announcement of the Joint Distribution Committee made yesterday.

Ninety per cent of this sum will be in the form of loans to Jewish farmers for house-building, purchase of seed, live-stock, and agricultural implements, and the maintenance until the harvest season. As these loans are repaid they will go into a revolving fund for future loans for similar farmers. The balance will go for medical relief, tractor courses and administrative purposes. This budget, it is expected by the Joint Distribution Committee, will cover 7,091 farming families of whom 3,631 settled on the land last year and of 3,460 families who are just embarking on agricultural life. Of the $1,100,000 budget $980,000 will be furnished by the Joint Distribution Committee and the balance being drawn by Dr. Rosen from the Agro-Joint’s reserves.

The aspects of the settling work in Russia and relief in other European countries, for which the $15,000,000 United Jewish campaign is being conducted, were discussed at a luncheon at the Hotel Biltmore. Leaders of the $6,000,000 New York drive, including Louis Marshall and William Fox, David M. Bressler and James Rosenberg, spoke at the luncheon, which was presided over by Felix M. Warburg, honorary chairman of the New York campaign.

Reproaches of their children because they are leading non-productive lives, the governmental policy of exterminating the merchant class, and the precariousness of urban existence, are the three leading factors which are causing large numbers of Jews in Russia to become farmers, declared Mr. Louis Fischer, who was the first speaker at the luncheon. Mr. Fischer recently returned from Russia. According to an announcement in “The Nation,” Mr. Fischer was recently appointed London correspondent of the “Rosta,” the Russian Government’s news agency.

Mr. Fischer declared that the Jews on the farms felt undoubtedly safer from pogroms and counter-revolutionary uprisings than the Jews in the cities. As farmers they had been able to demonstrate to the neighboring peasantry that the tales that Jews are parasites are myths. By their own arduous labor they have demonstrated to the peasantry that Jews are also producers. By developing thousands of acres of fallow land they have added to the prosperity of the neighboring country, and the extension by the Joint Distribution Committee of the use of its tractors and breeding stations to the peasantry without discrimination has established a new cordiality between non-Jewish peasants and the new Jewish farmers.

The Russian Government, he pointed out, was ready to give all the land that was necessary to the Jewish colonies on the sole condition that the land be cultivated. Five hundred thousand acres have already been cultivated by Jewish farmers with success and the Russian Government stands ready to give enough for several million Jewish settlers on the same condition.

He explained the policy of the Russian Government to eliminate the middleman by setting up cooperatives and taxing the merchants out of existence. The government will not encourage trading, in fact, he pointed out, it is wiping out this class.

Mr. Louis Marshall in an address following Mr. Fischer’s talk, pointed out that the United Jewish Campaign was not limited to Russian relief, but was intended for the relief of suffering Jews the world over. This, he said, includes Poland, Roumania, Bessarabia, Lithuania, Estonia, Palestine, parts of Austria and Germany.

Referring to the Russian phase of the campaign, Mr. Marshall pointed out that the governmental policy toward natural resources in that country was in many ways similar to the policy of state control of public resources advocated by Governor Smith for the state of New York. He also pointed out that with the downfall of the Denikines, Wrangles, Kolchaks and other leaders of the abortive counter-revolutionary uprisings in the past, the Jews were as safe in Russia as they are in any other part of the world. Much of the danger to the Jew in Russia since the revolution was from the counter-revolutionary elements. The policy of the present government is distinctly opposed to pogroms. Mr. Marshall stated that the fact that the present government has endured for over nine years is an indication that it is here to stay, or that at least it is as secure as any government on the European continent. He also stated that he believes that the present trend of Russia is toward a republican form of government and that the rabid communism that marked the first stage of the present regime was gradually disappearing and giving way to a more conservative outlook.

It was announced that Mr. James N. Rosenberg, vice-president of the Joint Distribution Committee, will shortly go abroad to make an investigation of the European Jewish conditions. He will also visit Russia.

Among those who were present are Benjamin Benenson, Paul Baerwald, Elias Cohen, Lester Hoffheimer, Joseph Frankel, Edgar Kohler, Samuel C. Lamport, Abraham L. Newman, J. J. Newman, J. K. Newman, Frank Rabinovitch, James N. Rosenebrg, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, Ludwig Vogelstein, Jesse Winburn, Benjamin Winter and Nathan Wilson.

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