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 and South America (especially Argentina)
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.


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.

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