Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- December 21, 1891Banishment of Jews from Russia. about 7000 Jews Have Found Refuge in Chicago During the Past Year
Since the first of August about 1,500 Russian Jews have been seeking and have found refuge in Chicago. They were banished from their homes and property in Russia, and had to escape the wrath of the Czar.
Without means, unable to speak English, unfamiliar with our customs and habits, they came to the shores of Lake Michigan, trusting fully in the famous and proverbial charity, the readiness to help of those of their race and faith, who were able to do so.2
Astonishingly large is the number of these unfortunate, banished Jews!
The Russian tyrant considered them the worst criminals, because they dared to be loyal and devoted to the faith of their fathers. During the period from August 1, 1890 until August 1, 1891 about 54,000 banished and exiled Jews landed in New York, and until December 1, approximately 11,000 additional arrived. About 7,000 of these came to Chicago.3
In the beginning, as thousands of the unfortunate Jews arrived, the native co-religionists were completely unprepared to render the necessary aid. To cope with such mass-misery, to protect them from hunger and disease, and to provide jobs for them, could be done only by organized charity.....
Nowhere did the unfortunate Jews receive better care than in Chicago, although they were completely dependent upon the charity, aid, and assistance of their fellow-believers.
The huge task of taking care of the refugees is carried on in Chicago by the Executive Committee Aiding Russian Refugees. This committee remains in continual contact with similar committees in neighboring states, and if some of the exiled have friends or relatives in any of these they are usually sent there. An Advisory Board assists the Executive Committee, and it is located in the heart of the Russian-Jewish section.4
It holds conferences in which the applications for relief are considered and disposed of five days a week.
Members of the Executive Committee: Adolph Loeb, president; J. Rosenberg and H. Greenebaum, vice-presidents; O. G. Foreman, treasurer; Rev. A. Norden, secretary; Dr. A. R. Levy, superintendent; H. Eliassof, manager; Dr. B. Felsenthal, Dr. E. G. Hirsch, Dr. J. S. Moses, J. Rosenthal, H. A. Kohn, N. Morris, Ab. Hart, J. Beifield, A. Kuh, A. Kraus, S. Nathan, and A. Gatzert, members of the Advisory Board; L. Schlossman, chairman; Dr. B. Felsenthal, Dr. J. Stoltz, A. J. Frank, I. Cowen, J. Lewis, J. Berkson, D. Goldstein, A. Weil, A. Bondy, L. Zolotkoff, A. Bernstein.5
To collect contributions and subscriptions the Executive Committee appointed sub-committees......which were organized only a few months ago. These have succeeded so well that they have been collecting lately on the average of $1,000 per week, and this money came from the middle and poorer classes, and not from the rich.
If Jewish exiles come to Chicago, they are sheltered in the temporary asylum at 152 West 12th Street for twelve days. Since the first of September, 15,652 persons found refuge there. This home is managed by the Westside Ladies Aid Society. The Zion Congregation of Rabbi Dr. Stolz, and the Chicago Lodges of the B'nai B'rith assisted greatly in this work.6
The Executive Committee tries to find work for these immigrants as soon as possible. During the month of September, 311 persons, among these only 39 skilled workers, found employment through the committee, and during October and November about 200 workers were placed each month. It is difficult to find work for skilled labor, but much more so for unskilled and common labor. But since there is hardly one Israelite in Chicago, who does not gladly and eagerly lend a helping hand to these unfortunate ones, all difficulties are readily overcome. This is indeed an eloquent testimony of the sacrificial liberality of the Jews in Chicago!
III G, II D 1, II D 8, IV
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