Guide to the Records of the Jewish Colonization Association, 1898-1913, RG 236
The Jewish Colonization Association was founded in 1891 by Baron Maurice de Hirsch and incorporated in London as a joint stock company. JCA headquarters were in Paris until 1949 when they were transferred to London.
The JCA assisted Jewish emigration and agricultural colonization throughout the world and sponsored vocational and agricultural schools, local manufacturing industries, savings and loan societies in Europe and elsewhere. The passage of the Immigration Quota Act in 1924 greatly decreased the opportunities for Jewish immigration. To deal with the situation of economic depression and anti-Semitism and to assist immigration, the United Evacuation Committee was formed by JCA jointly with Emigdirekt and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC). In 1927, HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), the JCA and Emigdirekt formed HICEM, a migration organization, which had about 57 committees in over 20 countries.
Although emigration from poverty stricken Europe was JCA's most important goal, the organization assisted communities throughout Europe by setting up agricultural colonies and schools, cooperative savings and loan societies, vocational and technical schools in Poland, Russia, Rumania. The JCA sponsored the establishment of colonies in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Palestine, Cyprus and Turkey. In the United States Baron de Hirsch established the Baron de Hirsch Fund and founded the agricultural school of Woodbine and cofounded the Jewish Agricultural Society. The JCA also distributed several thousand loans to immigrants. From 1965 JCA cooperated with the United HIAS Service contributing to the Special Rescue Program for transportation of immigrants from Eastern Europe and North Africa.
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This a partial inventory of the Records of the Jewish Colonization Association. Only Series III: JCA Activities in Russia and Series IV: JCA Activities in Galicia have been described here. For the rest of the inventory please reffer to a hard copy located at the YIVO Archives.
The JCA records in this collection pertain to JCA activities in Argentina, Palestine, Russia, Galicia (Poland), Canada, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Cyprus and Germany. The largest part of the collection pertains to JCA colonies in Argentina. The reports relate to all aspects of the colonies' development and include information on harvests, droughts, surveys of land, education. The smaller part, JCA sponsored projects and colonies in Europe, Palestine, Canada includes reports on JCA colonies, cooperative savings and loans societies, agricultural schools, vocational and technical schools, carpentry workshops, mechanized embroidery factories and weaving factories.