Jewish Colonization Association
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|Founder||Baron Maurice de Hirsch|
|Type||Jewish charitable foundation|
|Purpose||advocate and public voice, educator and network|
|North America (especially Canada, United States), South America (especially Argentina), and Palestine|
The Jewish Colonization Association (JCA or ICA, Yiddish ייִק"אַ) was created on September 11, 1891, by 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 America (Canada and the United States), and South America (Argentina and Brazil).
Colonies were founded within the United States in southern New Jersey, Ellington, Connecticut (Congregation Knesseth Israel), and elsewhere.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.
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.
- Sigismond Sonnenfeld (1891-1911)
- Louis Oungre (1911-1949)
- Victor Girmounsky and Georges Aronstein (1949-????)
- Victor Girmounsky
Past and present activities in Israel
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. Between 1900 and 1903 it created 4 new moshavot, Kfar Tavor, Yavniel, Melahamia (Menahamia), and Bait Vegan. In addition, it established an agricultural training farm at Sejera.
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". ICA is at present supporting projects in the fields of education, agriculture and tourism in the north (Galilee) and south (Negev) regions of Israel.
- Kolonja Izaaka, Belarus
- Moisés Ville, Argentina
- Organization for Jewish Colonisation in the Soviet Union
- Palestine Jewish Colonization Association
- Jewish Colonization Association
- Norman, Theodore (1983). "An Outstretched Arm: A History of the Jewish Colonization Association". Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 9780710202536. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- "Education Conference to Consider Curricula Changes". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 14 May 1929. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- "Louis Oungre, Ica’s Director-general, Reaches 50 Sunday". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 18 September 1930. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- "Louis Oungre Resigns Active Service with Jewish Colonization Association". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 15 November 1949. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- "Jewish Colonization Association Decides to Extend Its Work". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2 February 1955. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- Ben-Porat, Amir (1991). "Immigration, proletarianization, and deproletarianization A case study of the Jewish working class in Palestine, 1882-1914". Theory and Society (20): 244.
- ICA in Eretz Israel
- ICA In Israel: ICA today
- Media related to Jewish Colonization Association at Wikimedia Commons