The Jewish community considered the Mutual Assistance Fund an important organization, and decided to assume the necessary financial obligation. The community assured the Fund that it would cover the shortage of funds that were supposed to be deposited in the amount of 30,000 guilden. Indeed, the community paid out to the Fund the sum of 13,600 guilden over a period of five years. Thus, the Fund was clear of all debts by 1932. At first the Jewish borrowers hesitated to take loans from the Fund. Slowly, the word spread that the Fund provided non-interest loans without connections and guarantors. The Jewish artisans and small merchants began to flock to the Fund where they were treated as independent individuals and received non-interest loans without fuss. In this fashion did the Fund grow and develop to become an important economic institution in Sosnowiec.
The punctuality and the excellent bookkeeping gave the Fund an excellent
financial reputation. During 11 years of activities, the Fund dealt with 24,000
people (8,000 borrowers and 16,000 endorsers) and had a turnover of 250,000
guilden. During the period in question, the Fund lost only 4,000 guilden,
approximately 4 tenths of a percent. We must stress that the amounts lost were
due to frozen accounts, borrowers or cases where endorsers died and the courts
froze the assets. Could any financial organization match such record? Given the
difficult economic situation, the Fund really performed wonderful deeds.
|Chairman of the building fund committee at Cekabe in Sosnowiec,
and vice-chairman of the Zionist organization. Fellow organizer of the
Zionist organization in Sosnowiec, member of the Odesser committee
1896-1914, delegate to the 6th Zionist Congress in Basel 1903,
chairman of Hazamir during its existence1908-1912, member of the
Ika committee 1908-1914.Published a series of literary and topical
articles in Yiddish and Hebrew publications.
|Izrael Michael Berkowicz|
|Co-founder of the Mutual Assistance Fund
and its honorary treasurer for many years.
Today the Fund has 600 borrowers and 500 late payers who are behind in their repayment schedule.
Now some chronological items:
On May 20th 1928, the first general assembly of the Mutual Assistance Fund met
at the hotel Polski. Lajbisz Zendel presented a report about the
activities of the Fund. A management committee was elected that consisted of
Lajbisz Zendel (chairman), J. Ejbuszyc (vice-chairman), J. M. Berkowicz
(treasurer), Becalel Ferens (secretary), J. M. Kornfeld, R. Czapnik, Dawid
Dudkiewicz, P. Kaminski, A. Abramowicz, S. Zyskind, N. Bachmajer, M. E.
Magerkiewicz, S. Chmielnicki, J. Zaks, and B. Secemski.
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