Guide to the Records of the Jewish Colonization Association, 1898-1913, RG 236

Processed by Zosa Szajkowski in the 1970s. Finding aid expanded and revised by Gunnar Berg and Fruma Mohrer with the assistance of a grant from the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), New York, 2001. Finding aid, Series: Galicia and Russia, edited, encoded and posted online thanks to a grant from the  Gruss Lipper Foundation.

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011

© 2007 YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. All rights reserved.

Electronic finding aid was converted to EAD version 2002 by Yakov Sklyar in January 2007. EAD finding aid customized in ARCHON in 2013. Description is in English.

Collection Overview

Title: Guide to the Records of the Jewish Colonization Association, 1898-1913, RG 236

ID: RG 236 FA

Extent: 3.75 Linear Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection was originally arranged by Zosa Szajkowski in the 1970s and was inventoried as part of the Records of HIAS-HICEM I, Section XXXVI. In 2001, under a grant from the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) in New York. Archivists Gunnar Berg and Fruma Mohrer revised and expanded the finding aid.

Languages: English, Russian, Yiddish, Polish


This is a partial inventory of the Records of the Jewish Colonization Association. The portion of JCA records described here pertains to JCA activities in Galicia and Russia only. Included here are reports on JCA colonies, cooperative savings and loans societies, agricultural schools, vocational and technical schools, carpentry workshops, mechanized embroidery factories and weaving factories.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

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.

Historical Note

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.

Subject/Index Terms

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: Microfilm reels MKM 15.166 - 15.169. (4 reels)

Access Restrictions: The collection is open to researchers with an appointment with the Chief Archivist. For more information, contact: Chief Archivist,YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011 email:

Acquisition Method: The records were received by YIVO in 1948. The arrival of the collection was reported in the News of the YIVO, Issue 36 Page 8 (Yiddish side).

Original/Copies Note: This collection has been microfilmed and is available on four Microfilm reels MKM 15.166 - 15.169.

Preferred Citation: Published citations should read as follows:Identification of item, date (if known); YIVO Archives; Records of the Jewish Colonization Association; RG RG 236 Microfilm MKM 15.166 - 15.169; folder number.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

Series III: JCA Activities in Russia, 1902-1909,
Series IV: JCA Activities in Galicia, 1899-1907

Series III: JCA Activities in Russia, 1902-1909
Folder 26: JCA activities in Russia., 1902-1903

Several reports about the manufacturing company named 'Dnieper' in Dubrowna.

The reports outline the economic position of the Jews in Dubrowna, the fact that they have been unable to break into the weaving machine industry although they are active in the manual weaving industry. The reports relate to the construction and organization of the Jewish weaving factory which was built in order to solve the problem. This factory was partly supported by the Jewish Colonization Association. Topics included: different types of weaving machines, such as cotton, silk and wool and evaluation of these machines; economic reports; the sale of fabrics woven in the factory; the number of workers employed; success of the factory project for the Jewish community of Dubrowna.; budgetary table showing factory expenses. Accounting reports. List of shareholders who formed the Dnieper Factory includes the Poliakoff Bank, Baron Horace de Guenzbourg and Ignatz Posnanski.

Reports on: handicraft school for boys in Elisavetgrad, Mohilev. Workshop for married women and widows in Odessa; Boys handicraft school and Talmud Torah in Łódź; Girls' vocational school in Berdichev. Handicraft school in Kherson; situation of Jews at turn of century in Tsarist Russia and classificaion of all Jews as potential revolutionaries, government oppression and outbreak of pogroms; agricultural schools in the south of Russia. at Novo-Poltava, Ingulet︠s︡, Khlebodarov, Bogodarov, Yefingar. Situation in Bassarabia-Podolia region; colonists intending to immigrate to Argentina

Folder 27: JCA Activities in Russia, 1904
Reports and correspondence relating to: handicraft school in Mohilev; girl's vocational school in Elisavetgrad. Report and proposal by Horace de Guenzberg requesting support for upgrading elementary schooling for Jews in Russia. Requests for support for education of Jews of Finland. Reports on: farming school in Tschenstoniew (Tsarist Poland); weaving factory in Dubrowna. Proposal for reorganizing farming school in Orgueieff, Bessarabia. Report on agricultural improvements effected in Bessarabia and Podolia, especially the tree nursery in Soroki. Reports on: planned girl's vocational school in Białystok; weaving school in the Talmud Torah of Łódź; improvements in the colonies of the North West, among them the colonies of Pawlowo and Constantinow. Report on the statistical survey of the Jewish population of Russia conducted by the Jewish Colonization Association and relating among other things to a survey of the Jewish population by occupation. Reports on : improvements in Kherson; girl's vocational school in Tschernigoff, Nikolaieff
Folder 28: JCA Activities in Russia, 1904, 1906, 1907, 1909
Topics include: Girls' vocational school in Nicolaieff; report about the farming school of Orgueieff, Bessarabia; improvements in the North West region of Russia; the educational workshop in Shklov; craft school for boys in Minsk; Freehand and line drawing courses for adult craftsmen in Odessa. Report about the expansion of the Girls vocational school in Sinferpol. Report on the Verein fuer arbeitshilfe zu Vilna. Handicraft school for boys in Bobroisk; Report on the matter of building up a cadre of personnel in Russia to teach and give guidance in agricultural skills; this is to be achieved by sending directors of agricultural schools in Russia abroad to other countries to receive specialized training in a field. Letter from Budapest reporting arrival of Russian Jewish war refugees. Farm school in Czenstoniew. Report on the Vilna Jewish Teacher's Seminary. Situation of Jewish children in the khadorim of Minsk. Reports on the vocational boys school, the vocational girls school and the farming school, all in Minsk. Establishment of a shoe sales center at the Savings and Loan Society in Homelʹ to benefit 225 shoemakers residing in Homelʹ by giving them an opportunity to sell their wares. Establishment of credit services at the savings and loan society of Vitebsk as well as report on savings and loan society of Gory-Gorky. Third Congress held February 1906 in St. Petersburg for the emancipation of the Jews at which Achad Ha-am spoke among others. Report relating to savings and loan societies in Antopolʹ, Zabludowo, Troki, Meretschi,(sic) Eischishki (sic), Lenin, Radoun (sic), Vietka, Sokółka and other places
Series IV: JCA Activities in Galicia, 1899-1907
Folder 29: JCA Activities in Galicia., 1899-1900
Includes: Rules for establishment of a savings and loan society in Galicia, spelling out number of members, administration of society. Report on what steps are to be taken to deal with the problem of unemployment in Boryslaw. Development of small scale wood craft industry in Galicia, a region naturally rich in timber but which has only a limited furniture and wood industry because of lack of skilled manpower. Reports on various types of schools in different localities in Galicia.. Request from "Sprawiedliwocs", a Jewish newspaper, for a subvention from the JCA. Report on proposal to create a basket weaving school in Boryslaw. Financial situation of the Baron de Hirsch Foundation after the passing of the Baroness de Hirsch. and on the foundation's activities in Galicia. List of schools in Galicia supported by the Baron de Hirsch Foundation and funds spent in each. Reports on the savings and loan societies in Tarnow, Stanislau and Kolomea. Reports on carpentry schools in Galicia. Introduction of knitting industry in Galicia. Supporting Russian Jewish students studying in Switzerland. Unemployment in Galicia and hardships and hunger suffered by Jewish population and measures taken to solve problem. Report of 14 day trip through Galicia, 1900
Folder 30: JCA Activities in Galicia, 1901-1904
Introduction of mechanized embroidery industry in Galicia. Report on agricultural studies in Slobodka-Lesna. Mechanized stocking factory in Kolomea. Doll factory in Tarnow. Carpentry school in Stanislau. Credit loan society in Sambor and Złoczow. Letter by applicant of Russian Jewish origin applying for the position of Rabbi in JCA colony in Argentina. Report on a trip to Galicia; includes savings and loan society of Tarnow, Rzeszów, Brody, Stanislau, Kolomea, Zaleszczyki, and Zlowczow, Sambor. Proposal to establish a hothouse for the growing of vegetables. Loan societies in Bursztyn, Husiatyn, Buczacz, Obertyn, Folksbank Kraków
Folder 31: JCA Activities in Galicia, 1905-1907
Reports on the area of Slobodka-Lesna, site of an agricultural training school. Report on trip through Galicia with stops in Kraków, Tarnow, Rzeszów, Lemberg, Brody, Złoczow, Tarnopol, Stanislau, Kolomea, Slobodka-Lesna, Neusandez, Bochnia, Wichniez and Oświęcim. The reports includes: comparisons in levels of modernity and urbanization between the cities and towns; descriptions of the townspeople with differentiation between Orthodox, Chassidim, intelligentsia and the wealthy. The reports also refers to the structure of Galician communities, including appointments of communal rabbis. The report also covers the work of the various institutions, such as the Jewish Colonization Association, which have established themselves in Galicia and have provided assistance of various kinds. Reports on loan societies in Galicia., including those in Tarnow, Rzeszów, Sambor, Stanislau, Kolomea, Zaleszczyki, Tarnopol, Kraków, Burstyn, Husi︠a︡tyn, Obertyn. Reports on carpentry factory in Stanislau. Dissolution of the doll factory in Tarnow and possibility of its replacement with a knitting factory. Loan society in Prague. Copy of report from Bertha Pappenheim of Frankfort with proposal to establish training for Galician women and girls in the arts of housekeeping

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