The Eighth Council
The Eighth Council took place at Massada on 1516 Av 5689 (August 2122, 1929). It was at the time of renewed immigration, of the growth in the Brit HaNoar (Youth Alliance) propaganda work among the youth and the increased number of youth registered for training. The main discussion at this Council was to allow the cultural development of all youth without discriminating on their affiliation.
It also became clear that the current method of training, emphasising the individual, is not sufficient and that from the very start It is necessary to direct the training towards developing the society. It became imperative to develop a humanitarian society simultaneously with building the Jewish nation in Eretz Israel.
The search for a new direction and solutions to this problem, that preoccupied the entire movement since its inception, was led by the Shomer HaTzair graduates guided by Aharon Cohen and Gordonia graduates guided by Abraham Bronshtein.
In order to avoid the mistakes that occurred with the Fourth Aliyah and due to the growth in the immigration permits number in the second half of 1929, it became necessary to find new, more reasonable methods to develop the economy in Eretz Israel.
HeHalutz management was compelled to immediately organize a seminar to train instructors for the new season. The seminar took place in Kishinev on 27 Adar I (March 9, 1929) and lasted three weeks. 26 people from all HeHalutz branches, Shomer HaTzair, Gordonia, A.T.S (Association of Zionist Youth in Romania), HeHalutz HaTzair, Maccabi and Beitar participated at the seminar. They were joined by many guests from the various youth organizations.
The following people from the leadership of HeHalutz lectured at the seminar: Yitzchak Berger, Dr. Asher Goldshtein, Israel Swirsky, Chaim Feigin, Yakov Kutsher, Isar Rabinovich, Shimshon Shechter and the teachers Yehudah Hariton and Benyamin Tutshinsky.
Israel David BarRavChai, M. A. Beigel (Avigal) and Akiva Goldshtein (Goshen) represented Eretz Israel.
The lectures were followed by lively discussion on history, culture, society and about the labour movement in Eretz Israel and by debates between the lecturers and the students.
The decision to establish the Jewish Agency was taken at the 15th Zionist Congress in Zurich, but the joy was short lived because of the events of Av 5689 (1929) in Eretz Israel .
The events shook up the Jewish community all over the world which
immediately organized many protests. A large protest took place in Kishinev, where Akiva Goldshtein (Goshen), Zeev Meshi and Israel Swirsky called for the increase in immigration. HeHalutz centre in Bessarabia appealed to the youth to join the HeHalutz and to boost the immigration to Eretz Israel. Unfortunately, because of the lack of funding to support the immigration, the number of permits diminished. At the last moment, enough money was raised to send the halutzim to Constantza and from there to Eretz Israel on September 12, 1929. They were joined by many halutzim from Poland.
Two day before the group was supposed to leave Constantza and when the lack of money became evident, Akiva Goldshtein (Goshen) appealed to Tarbut for help. The leaders of Tarbut, Shlomo Berliand and Israel Berman, approved a shortterm loan (charity fund) of 200,000 Lei.
These two people, who dedicated their entire life to the Jewish education and Tarbut, had to take a very difficult decision to support the halutzim and use the money from the school budget for immigration.
HeHalutz paid back part of the loan from the HeHalutz Week proceedings and part was shown as a loss in the HeHalutz books.
Tarbut had to come up with money to ensure that the schools do not suffer due to this act of charity.
The news about Group 34 of 66 people leaving for Eretz Israel became a great event in Kishinev. Many people came to bid farewell to the immigrants, among them many students from the Yeshivah, who considered the immigration a response to the riots in Hebron.
Immediately after, the HeHalutz Centre published a pamphlet entitled In die blutige teg (In these Bloody Days) which explained the riots in Eretz Israel to the community and the reactions in the world. Gordonia organized Preparation Groups and intensified its propaganda among the youth. This idea was carried out by Zeev Meshi from Eretz Israel who visited Soroca and Khotin areas and enlisted 600 new members and by Tarbut and the local Zionist organization which organized special training courses.
The riots in Eretz Israel shook the young people and increased awareness of the HeHalutz and its training program. The Beitar members also started their own training program one of them was in a sugar factory in Zarujeni (Khotin district). The Palestinian Section of Maccabi decided at its meeting of 2627 October, 1929 to direct its members to the pioneer training and organized the immigration of eight members of Tzeirei Mizrachi from Chernovitz who worked on a privately owned farm.
The A.T. S (Association of Zionist Youth) in Romania and Transylvania decided to direct their members to training and to actively participate
in the summer camps and hoped to attract 1,000 members for the coming season.
The delay in the immigration permits of the summer of 1929 Schedule, the loss of 41 travel certificates caused by passport problems and the riots in Eretz Israel were big blows to HeHalutz in Romania.
The Ninth Council took place on 1718 Shvat 5690 (February 1516, 1930) in Jassy. Among the participants were 30 delegates from the newly formed Preparation Groups, 24 delegates from the farms and training groups (delegates from Maccabi, Beitar, A.T.S. (Association of Zionist Youth) and a branch of A.T.S. which left the Shomer HaTzair for the International Socialist movement and later joined the HeHalutz as a separate group. Also present were Zeev Bloch, Moshe Shoshani and Dov Shafrir from the Workers Union in Eretz Israel. Sh. Shechter, the director of HeHalutz, addressed the 200 youth form all the groups and factions attending the opening session. He stressed that it is imperative to strengthen the Zionist movement and to increase the training program. All, except the Beitar delegates, agreed to widen the scope of the Preparation Groups and subsequently enlarge the base of HeHalutz.
Ariyeh Lichtinger (Nahir) from the Keren Kayemet office reported about the activities of the Fund and about the duties of the youth toward Keren Kayemet. In conclusion, they agreed to work to establish the League for Working Eretz Israel, except for the delegates from Beitar who voted against this decision.
The following people were elected to the Council's executive: Daniel Guberman, Chana Lerner (Lamdan), D. Shafrir. Akiva Bron (Zarujeni) and Weibuch (Bacau) were elected secretaries.
Sh. Shechter presented the report on the budget and the dire financial situation and described the growth of the 20 Preparation Groups, whose 800 members were waiting to start training.
At the conclusion of the meeting all agreed that the organization's scope is in the training (Hachshara) that prepares the participants for a new life in Eretz Israel
The statutes of the Preparation Groups were approved as follows:
The Scope of the organization is to mobilize the youth under the umbrella of HeHalutz in order to prepare for the training; each location will reinforce the HeHalutz philosophy; to make every effort to understand each participant's ability in order to better assign the work in the group.
Membership in the group is granted to all men and women over the age 16 who desire to join the HeHalutz and the training and stay there for one year only.
The Council agreed to intensify the propaganda among the youth and to make arrangements for 1000 members to join training the following season. In the spring, 650 people were placed in training in two privately owned farms and in 16 seasonal groups. 540 people belonged to various Zionist Unions, 190 came from the Shomer HaTzair, 188 from Gordonia, 60 from A.T.S, 35 from Maccabi, 45 from Beitar, 22 from Tzeiri Mizrachi, 110 from the Preparation Groups. During the summer another 150 people from the Preparation Groups came to work.
On September 15, 1930 (just before the Fouth HeHalutz Congress in Berlin, 1013 Tishrei 56915 October 1930) the organization presented the following statistics: Romania had 3,075 graduates of the Preparation Groups and other Zionist organizations and 857 trainees to a total of 3,932 people, 1,100 halutzim, 1,400 Shomer HaTzair, and Gordonia 1,432. (At the time Poland had 11,616 and Galicia 4,897).
This first and important Congress of the Jewish Workers in Eretz Israel and in the Diaspora took place in Berlin at the end of September 1930. This Congress drew great attention from the International Labour movement and many socialist parties because it embodied the Zionist ideals and the labour socialist vision.
A delegation of thirteen people represented Romania at this important Congress. Eight people from this delegation also attended the Fourth International HeHalutz Congress in Berlin on May 2, 1930.
Shimshon Shechter addressed the congress on two important issues training and cultural/educational work. In his address he pointed out the importance of educating the youth for the ultimate task of rebuilding Eretz Israel and for preparing them for the hard work and the many responsibilities in the future. The Hachshara is a sum of all training aspects professional, cultural and social and ultimately it forges the halutz character. He suggested setting up Preparation Groups that will admit more people and provide transition to training. Shechter declared his support for Berl Katznelson's program to enhance the education process with culture, literature and history.
|Photograph no. 79: Threshing at the training farm near Jassy|
|Photograph no. 80: Milking cows at the training farm near Jassy|
|Photograph no. 81: Members of the Pacurari Training Farm near Jassy, beginning of 1930|
2nd row from the top: Between BarRavChai and Shechter, Deborah Weinshtein (Guberman), Between Shechter and Goshen, Isar Rabinovich
Middle: Sitting: H. Mutchnik, M. Frank, Schaposchnik, Unknown
Top row: Standing: M. Ratchulsky, Schreiberman, M. Ziserman, R. Chaimovitch, Unknown, Sislavsky, T. Mutchnik , Grobokopatel, Tartakovsky
|Photograph no. 84: A training group with members from Gordonia and Beitar, Zarujeni, spring 5690 (1930)|
The Sixth Congress took place in on 711 Shvat 5691 (2529 January 1931). In order to decide the number of delegates an election took place before the Congress with the following results: Shomer HaTzair received 271 votes and 17 delegates, Gordonia 249 votes and 15 delegates, Maccabi 41 votes and 3 delegates, A.T.S. 69 votes and 4 delegates, Beitar 36 votes and 2 delegates. In total there were 666 votes and 41 delegates.
The HeHalutz Week of Pessah 5691 (1931) published this survey that took place on November 30, 1930.
|A.T.S. Association of Zionist Youth||49||20||69||10|
|Other local or small groups||6||5||11||2|
The actual number of members in HeHalutz was probably 857, twice as much as in 1928. 169 members who took the training earlier were not included because they did not return the questionnaires, probably because they were in the army or moved.
Sh. Shechter presented the report for the years 5688 5690 (19281930) and pointed out that the movement has grown since the last Congress and that, although the majority of halutzim still come from Bessarabia, Romanian membership is more than 25%. This situation is compelling the movement to take in consideration the diversity of the Romanian Jewry especially after the Annexation and to provide specifically for this diversity.
In these two years 1,500 members did the training in 38 training groups. Groups 33 to 45 made up of 405 members who immigrated (278 men and 127 women), and 521 members (338 men and 138 women) who were impatiently waiting for their turn to immigrate.
The immigrants from Group 33 settled in Kfar Saba and Kibbutz Gimel and Dalet of the Shomer HaTzair in Haifa and Magdiel, the Gordonia group in Hedera, BneiIsrael group in Nahalal, and some in Rehovot, Hedera and Petah Tikva.
Z. Bloch and D. Shafrir reviewed the issues regarding education and the role of the youth. The financial situation of 56895690 (19291930) presented a very bleak picture. There was the need to cover the 1,3 million Lei for the operation. Only half of this sum was raised and the 600,000 Lei promised by the Zionist Federation in Bucharest was not delivered.
The new leadership of 20 people had 2 members from Shomer HaTzair, 2 from Gordonia, 1 from Maccabi, 1 from A.T.S. and the rest from Eretz Israel.
The Tenth Council took place in Jassy on 1213 Elul 5691 (2930 August 1931). The report from Dov Shafrir indicated that the financial situation has slightly improved, that the 250,000 Lei debt had been repaid and that the quality of the training has improved because new knowledgeable instructors were hired.
The Council decided to replace the Preparation Groups with urban branches which proved to be very efficient and to empower then with shaping the future of the organization. The creation of a new group from the Poalei Zion membership was approved.
The Council approved the retirement of Joseph Finkelshtein and Ben Zion (Bentchik) Charach from the Executive due to their immigration to Eretz Israel. Their place was taken by Nyusa Friedel (Natan Peled) and Chaim Fuks (Motzkin).
Dov Shafrir, well praised for the great job he performed for the last two years with HeHalutz of Romania, returned to Eretz Israel and was replaced by
Dov Bibik (Frenkel).
Compared to year 1930, 1931 saw a decline in the Eretz Israel economy as well as a decline in the immigration. The training graduates had to return to their parents' homes and this caused a sharp decrease in the numbers of halutzim for the winter of 1932. Only 220 new trainees remained in the private farms. Among them were 10 trainees from Orgheiev who worked in a vineyard since the summer.
In the spring of 1932 only 365 people attended training. The small number of trainees made it possible to increase the quality of cultural educational training and to give the organization time to recuperate from the loan burden.
In the summer of 1932, 79 new immigration permits were received by HeHalutz in Romania and they were distributed as follows: 67 for General HeHalutz, 7 for HeHalutz Mizrachi and 5 permits for the A.T.S. Beitar demanded 25 permits but received only 7 which they refused to accept!
Summary of HeHalutz organized immigration from 5681 to 5691 (19211931)
Until Pessah 5686 (1926) Groups 128 (see also page 215): 1,716
Until Shvat 5689 (1929) Groups 2932: 300
Secret immigration (according to a brochure published in Kishinev on Nissan 5690 (1930): 600
Until Pessah 5691 (1931) Groups 33 43: 405
Total 3,021 Return
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