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May 06, 1983 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-05-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

26 Friday, May 6, 1983

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Baron Maurice de Hirsch Promoter of Jewish Farming

By BARBARA SOFER

Whenever I was asked
what a Jewish girl was
doing amidst the Connec-
ticut Yankee farmers my
answer always began with
the Baron.
De Hirsch received a pro-
per -secular and Hebrew
education. At 20, he joined a
large banking firm and
married the boss' daughter.
Adventurous, Hirsch took
on the project of construct-
ing the romantic Oriental

Railway linking Constan-
tinople and the East to
Europe. He won the railway
concession from the Turks
and successfully carried off
the hugh project. Hirsch
also speculated in sugar and
copper industries. By 1890,
when my grandfather was
working in a Polish factory,
Hirsch's fortune was esti-
mated at $100 million.
Despite his riches and the
f ancy company he kept with

such notables as the Prince
of Wales (later Edward VII)
and the Austrian Archduke
Rudolph, Baron Hirsch
never forgot his Jewish
roots. Funding a large array
of philanthropic projects, he
gave the Alliance Israelite
Universelle a million francs
for its schools in North Af-
rica in 1891, established a
trade school for Jewish im-
migrants in New York the
same year, and supported
schools in Galicia and
Bovina.
He offered the Czarist
government in Russia $10
million to set up a modern
educational system for the
Jews there. When his offer

was refused Hirsch took up
the idea of "territorialism,"
and in 1891 the Jewish Col-
onization Association (ICA)
formed to facilitate mass
emigration.
Hirsch had strong ideas
about what the Jews should
do when they left Eastern
Europe. Although the lively
Baron himself could be seen
horse racing and hunting
with European nobility, he
believed that his fellow
Jews had special talents as
farmers.
"My personal experi-
ence," he wrote in The
Forum in August 1891,
"leads me to recognize that
the Jews have very good

ability in agriculture . . .
and my efforts shall show
that the Jews have not lost
the agricultural qualities
that their forefathers pos-
sessed. I shall try to make
for them a new home in
different lands, where as
free fanners on their own
soil they can make them-
selves useful to that coun-
try." -
To execute his plans, the
Baron
put more than $36
OM MIII
INI ON MB NO IN •
million of capital (a fantas-
tic sum in those days) at the
disposal of ICA. The organ-
ization introduced agricul-
I
tural innovations in areas of
Jewish settlement in Rus-
I
sia, introducing new crops
I
and supporting agricultural
I
and technical schools. But
its main function- was the
purchase of large land
I
tracts to establish colonies
in North and South
America for agricultural
I
3 locations
and commercial purposes.
23043
Beech
I
to serve you
at 9 Mile, Southfield
Some 507 emigration
22185 Coolidge
committees
were set up in
31555
W.
10
Mile
at 9 Mite, Oak Park
at Orchard Lake, Farmington
I
Eastern Europe, and a
committee linked immig-
I
rants in the U.S. with rela-
I
tives in Europe.
Coupon must be presented with order — Expires May 20th
Farmers, teachers, tailors
This sewing workshop in Woodbine,N.J., in 1904
was established by Baron de Hirsch.
from Russia and Poland
were settled on Hirsch
farming colonies in Argen-
tina and Brazil, in Canada,
New York, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania and Connec-
ticut. By 1930, the ICA had
distributed more than
10,000 loans to immigrants;
—many cordless models to choose from
about 20,000 were farming
over 500,000 hectares of
—ranges from 250' to 1,000' —
land in Argentina (a hec-
—pulse, or touch tone
tare is 2,500 acres).
The colonists were given
—last number
equipment, instruction,
redial — memory
credit and Jewish schools
Phones for the
for their children. Most
home & business,
window
either became independent
single & multi lines
Prices starting from $ 11 9 95
farmers or moved on to
treatments &
other walks of life. Some of
/1'1
wallpaper
the ventures, like the sev-
\\--
eral colonies in Brazil, did
•FABRIC ROMANS •DRAPERIES •WALLPAPER
not prosper.
—Full VOX — remote
But for the tens of
• DECORATIVE SHADES •WOVEN WOODS
—Closeout
— while supply lasts
thousands of Jews who im-
• TABLE PADS •HORIZONTALS •BALI
migrated through the ef-
• LEVOLOR •VERTICALS INCLUDING FREE
forts of the ICA, Hirsch had
COVERED HEADRAILS, HEAVY DUTY TRACKS-
given them a new start in
• TRANSLUCENT •BLACKOUT SHADES
Save
life.
• LAMINATED SHADES •VEROSOL AND MYLAR
When
$20.00
my
own
grandfather left Poland in
SHADES
Mother's Day Special
1907, he settled in New
BRING IN YOUR WOOD ROLLERS — NEW CLOTH
York City. The city air did
WILL BE MOUNTED AT A FRACTION OF THE COST. 1st RATE
not agree with him. When a
$1 995
TRANSLUSCENT OR FIBERGLASS CLOTH
Phones from $1295TONE
doctor predicted he had a
Phones from I
FREE FREIGHT — NO HANDLING CHARGE ON WALLPAPER.
month to live, he decided to
Many styles and colors to choose from.
HORIZONTAL OR VERTICAL BLINDS
visit a friend on one of
FREE VALANCES — ON HORIZONTALS -
Baron Hirsch's_ chicken
See our fine showroom in W.B.
farms in Connecticut.
FREE COVERED HEADRAIL ON VERTiCALS
Grandpa never became a
• Long Distance Call
*Measuring and installation additional cost. Freight charges on certain
farmer himself, but for the
anywhere in continental
designer Items and woven woods 83" and wider. Previous orders
next 40 years he enjoyed the
excluded. Phone estimates gladly given.
USA that the MCI network
country air and brought up .
reaches — W.B. store only
his children and
grandchildren in a rural
• Extended warranty and
atmosphere.
Loaner guarantee
Baron Hirsch's only son,
Lucien,
died in 1887. The
• Free phone with window
no freight
bereaved father wrote to a
treatment
or
wallpaper
or handling
friend: "My son I have lost,
purchase of $800 or more
but not my heir; humanity
is my heir."
Measure, must
($45 value, labor excluded)
Ironically, the Jews have
bring ad into store to set up
Select the style best-fitted to your needs . . . the selection is
indeed become leaders in
appointment. ($15.00
agriculture as Hirsch
tremendous.
value)
wanted them to be — but
*PREVIOUS ORDERS EXCLUDED. Offer expires 5/14/83
not in his colonies. When
Herzl and Hovevei Zion
suggested he help them in
Eretz Yisrael, he dismissed
Orchard Lake Rd. at 15 Mile
15150 W. 7 Mile Rd., 3 blks. E. of Greenfield
the creation of a Jewish
West Bloomfield 626-2400
state as a fantasy.
Detroit 342-8822
Mon.-Sat. 10-5, Thurs. till 8
History was to show that
Mon. -Fri. 8:30-5, Sat. 9-3
agricultural
colonies

World Zionist Press Service

JERUSALEM — Maurice
de Hirsch, whose 150th
birthday was celebrated
this year, grew up in a weal-
thy German Jewish family
of royal bankers. Although
like most Jewish families
mine cannot boast of nobil-
ity, our family history can-
not be told without men-
tioning a baron — in our
case Baron Hirsch himself.



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