Felix M. Warburg, chairman of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, on the conclusion of his visit to the new Jewish colonies in Russia, sent a cable to David A. Brown, national chairman of the United Jewish Campaign, and James N. Rosenberg, vice-chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, describing his impressions of his inspection.
Mr. Warburg expressed himself as profoundly impressed with the permanent foundations of a new Jewish agricultural class being laid through the work of the Agro-Joint.
“Later I hope to persuade American Jewry to invest further in this practical and humanitarian work,” Mr. Warburg said in his message. His visit covered more than forty colonies in the three districts of the Ukraine, White Russia, and the Crimea, in which the Agro Joint is working. There are 135 colonies in all, in which more than 10,000 families of former impoverished traders and city dwellers have established themselves. All these colonies have been founded within the last three years.
A second cable was received at the same time from James H. Becker of Chicago, who is traveling with Mr. Warburg.
Mr. Warburg’s cable, as made public by Mr. Brown, reads:
“After delightful inspection our main three districts, am both satisfied proud of permanent foundation bringing these colonists only happiness only self-re-spected healthy life possible here, probably within near future. With unemployment more seriods, number anxious to become self-supporting independent farmers steadily increasing. First three years have gone according to schedule entirely satisfactory, and seeing them in their homes secure, contented, with hopes revived, working farms, starting repayments, is joy as well as vindication of Rosen’s plan. government encouraging, aiding our successful effort. Later I hope to persuade Jewry to invest further in this practical and humanitarian work. Meantime you and few who have given, worked, and seen for themselves realize that least American Jews can do is pay pledges without delay, for our obligations here must be met according to schedule. Nature’s seasons and desirable land wont wait.”
Mr. Becker’s cable read:
“Although have followed closely all oral, written reports, from our representatives who have seen colonization undertaking, I had no adequate picture of its magnitude of spirit. Have inspected work in all three districts. Visited and passed through more than forty out of hundred thirty-five our colonies. By October will have hundred eighty. Saw settlements in all stages of development, some formed this spring, to those completing third year. Have fine efficient business and technical organization, which receives inexperienced city dwellers, teaches them farming, helps them build houses, plant vineyards, prepared fields, sow crops, establish creameries, cooperative farm banks, etc., and remains in contact with them until they are independent farmers. This is great historic opportunity to acquire more land and continue turning declassed occupationless discouraged people into independent farmers. Although this sounds strong statement, nevertheless absolutely accurate. At present number persons we can help depends only upon money available. Can’t stress too much absolute necessity assuring funds enabling us carry out program and obligations already assumed.
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.