The J. D. B. News Letter
Menu JTA Search

The J. D. B. News Letter

Download PDF for this date

(By Our Moscow Correspondent)

The visit of Mr. Felix M. Warburg to this country to inspect the Jewish colonies is viewed here as significant not only as an indication of the deep personal interest outstanding American Jews of wealth take in the coloization work, but also as a sign of the growing bond of understanding and friendship between the Jewries of the two countries. Nothing could demonstrate this better than the reception tendered by the Moscow Jewish community to Mr. Warburg, James Becker and Dr. Bernhard Kahn on the eve of their departure for the Jewish colonies.

The welcome was especially an expression of esteem and admiration for the head of the J. D. C. who has dedicated himself so nobly to the work of aiding his fellow Jews.

The reception, which made a deep impression on the guests as well as in those who welcomed them, was attended by representatives of the Moscow synagogue administration, the Moscow Jewish relief organization Mevopo, prominent Jewish intellectuals, social workers and scholars.

Mr. Albert Fuchs, the president of the Moscow Jewish Community who was in the chair, said that this was not the first occasion on which the Jews of Moscow were welcoming guests from America. “But we are specially proud to welcome among them Mr. Felix M. Warburg who is the head of the organization which more than all others has responded to the needs of the Jews, and in particular of the Russian Jews,” he declared. Mr. Fuchs went on to praise the work of Dr. Joseph Rosen, the head of the Agrojoint in Russia, who he said, had won for himself the esteem and affection of the whole of Russian Jewry.

Dr. Gran, one of the oldest social Jewish workers in Russia and a leader of the Jewish Health Organization Oze, said: “It is twelve years now since the Joint Distribution Committee has come into the life of Russian Jewry. In the year 1915 when a flood of espionage libels had been poured out upon the Russian Jews, and they were over-whelmed by the catastrophe of life in the war-zone and of forced evacuations, the J. D. C. was the first to come to their aid. The J. D. C. came to the aid of all the relief organizations, the Yekopo, Ort, Oze and the others which were at that time engaged in a vigorous activity. In America the J. D. C. has united all classes and sections of the Jewish population. For twelve years now, the J. D. C. has been watching over the interests of the whole of Jewry in the various countries. At fist it engaged in a work of immediate relief. Then it took up the task of reconstructive work. It has prevented the literal annihilation of hundreds of thousands of Jews in all countries. The present work of the J. D. C. in Soviet Russia is of special importance. The Jewish colonization work which was commenced after a very close and thorough investigation of the conditions in Soviet Russia and after very careful consideration is a work of historic importance not only to the Russian Jews but to the Jews of the other countries as well. The J. D. C. has been most happy in its choice of Dr. Joseph Rosen as the head of its work in Russia. The Russian Jews owe it to Dr. Rosen that the colonization work is so successful. I want in particular to thank the J. D. C. for the assistance it is giving the Oze. The American Jews have through the J. D. C. raised nearly a hundred million dollars for the relief work on behalf of the Jews of Eastern Europe.”

Dr. Wermel, the prominent Jewish social worker, said that it was only ten years since the Russian Jews had obtained their emancipation and enjoyed all citizenship righs. But Mendele Mocherseforim had once said that one did not dance before one had eaten. “We have a lot of rights,” Dr. Wermel said, “but we have no bread. The Russian Jews are at present in a state of re-convalescence. People who are just beginning to recover after a long and severe illness need good nourishment. The J. D. C. is helping the Jewish working masses in Russia to obtain this nourishment through agricultural colonization. People who had been small traders, cantors, luftmentschen, are now becoming sturdy landworkers.” Dr. Wermel expressed the hope that the J. D. C. would continue to help Russian Jewry until it reached a stage when it would be able to stand upon its won feet.

Mr. Felix M. Warbarg. in replying to the speeches, described his travels during the last five months, accompanied by Mr. Beeker, through various continents. They had visited, he said, Greece, Italy, Palestine, Ceylon, the Himalayas, India, China and Japan, and now they were in Russia. They had seen the cradles of various cultures and religious, they had seen the beauties and the wonders of nature, but more than the beauties of nature they had been interested in the spirit and the ways of life of man. He would like to see peace and harmony among the various races and nationalities, among all men. When he had seen the sun rise over the Himalaya mountains he had reflected that the same sun shone upon all mankind and that Moses. Jesus and Confucius could have sat down at one table.

“The Joint Distribution Committee.” Mr. Warburg proceeded, “had one great achievement to its credit. It has brought it about that the American Jews no longer consider where people came from. Up to the time of the formation of the J. D. C. I had never given a thought to the Russian Jews. But today there are for me no Russian Jews, Polish Jews. Roumania Jews or American Jews. There are only Jews. I feel happy at the friendlly reception which I have been given in Moscow.” It was more satisfaction to him than the fortune which he would leave to his children. he stated.

Mr. Warbarg paid a tribute to the work of Dr. Joseph Rosen. He also expressed warm appreciation of the work of Mr. Becker. who, he said, had been one of the first men to throw himself wholcheartedly into the work of the J. D. C. from the first day of its formation.

Mr. Warburg concluded with the hope that the union between the Russian Jews and the American Jews would continue to be as firm in the future with improved economic conditions among the Russian Jews.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund