Jewish Colonization Association

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Jewish Colonization Association
Abbreviation JCA
Formation 1891
Extinction 1978
Type Jewish Organizations
Legal status not active
Purpose advocate and public voice, educator and network
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Region served North especially Canada, United States, South America (especially Argentina, and Palestine)
Official language English, French

The Jewish Colonization Association (JCA or ICA, Yiddish ייִק"אַ) was created on September 11, 1891 by the Baron Maurice de Hirsch. Its aim was to facilitate the mass emigration of Jews from Russia and other Eastern European countries, by settling them in agricultural colonies on lands purchased by the committee, particularly in North and South America, especially Argentina and Brazil.

History[edit]

Colonies were founded within the United States in southern New Jersey, Ellington, Connecticut (Congregation Knesseth Israel), and elsewhere.[1]A Canadian Committee of the JCA was established in November 1906 to assist in the settlement of thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing Russia, and to oversee the development of all JCA settlements in the country.

The JCA also established two agricultural colonies in the first two decades of the 20th century in what now is Turkey. In 1891, JCA bought land near Karataş, Izmir, Turkey, and established an agricultural training centre, or Yehudah, on an area totaling 30 km² by 1902. The center was closed in 1926 owing to numerous difficulties. A group of Romanian Jews in Anatolia were assisted by JCA in the early 20th century to establish an immigration bureau in Istanbul in 1910. The JCA also bought land in the Asian part of Istanbul and founded Mesillah Hadassah agricultural colony for several hundred families. In 1928 the colonies were mostly liquidated, with only the immigration bureau remaining to assist migrants in their migration to Palestine.

The JCA established several colonies in Argentina. One such colony is Colonia Lapin, founded in 1919 in the Buenos Aires Province. At least one colony was established in Brazil, at Quatro Irmaõs.

Economic factors, notably the Great Depression, led to the dissolution of all western Canadian colonies by the end of World War II. Thereafter concentrating its work in the east, the Canadian chapter of the JCA purchased farms and made loans to farmers in Ontario and Quebec. The JCA Canadian Committee made no loans after 1970 and ceased all legal existence in 1978. The JCA deposited the majority of its papers at the National Archives of the Canadian Jewish Congress in 1978, and the remainder (the "S" collection) there in 1989.

Past and present activities in Israel[edit]

In 1896 the JCA started offering support to Jewish farming communities newly established in Ottoman Palestine. In 1899 Baron Edmond James de Rothschild transferred title to his colonies ("moshavot") in Palestine along with fifteen million francs to the JCA. Starting on January 1, 1900 the JCA restructured the way in which the colonies received financial and managerial support, with the effect of making them more profitable and independent. It also created several new colonies. The Palestine operation was restructured by Baron de Rothschild in 1924 as the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (PICA) and placed under the directorship of his son James Armand de Rothschild. PICA transferred most of its properties to the State of Israel in 1957 and 1958. ICA resumed activities in Palestine in 1933, at first in association with another fund and from 1955 on by itself as "ICA in Israel".[2] ICA is at present supporting projects in the fields of education, agriculture and tourism in the north (Galilee) and south (Negev) regions of Israel.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]