The Jewish Voice (November 26, 1903)
In a report presented to the Statistical Congress held at Berlin, by M. L. Colescu, the Roumanian delegate, the following statistics are given: At south 26 Jews, and in the east five Jews to every 1,000 inhabitants. M. Colescu remarks that the majority of the Jews speak the German jargon, but the Adeverul, which quotes the figures, contradicts this statement, as the greater number of the Roumanian Jews speak nothing but Roumanian, with which they are thoroughly acquainted. The present generation does not even know the German jargon or Yiddish.
The situation in Roumania does not improve. The emigration of Jews proceeds apace, and makes itself felt everywhere, particularly at Jassy, where hundreds of families have left. The economic situation there is very serious, and the Christian population now suffers on account of the departure of an element which contributed to the prosperity of the town. Such a situation, and its effects on commerce and industry, will possibly lead the government to effect some change. Already the Minister of the Interior has addressed to all the prefects a circular calling upon them to make a careful study of Jewish religious, charitable and educations organizations, and the Jewish communities have been requested to provide certain information, among other things as to how far foreign societies contribute towards the maintenance of communal institutions.
The Minister of the Interior has recently addressed a circular to the authorities ordering them to give preference to Christian workmen in any undertaking. This is being carried out. Works entailing an outlay of 600,000 francs were to have been executed at Dadilov, and the Prime Minister rejected the estimates of all private contractors in order to hand over the operations to bands composed exclusively of non-Jews. At the general postoffice public tenders were invited for the manufacture of postmen's bags. Although "foreign" contractors offered to do the work at a lower price than the Roumanians, the contract was entrusted to one of the latter, in spite of the protests of his competitors.
The relief work of the Alliance Israelite in Roumania, which was organized in 1899, has been stopped. The closing of the soup kitchens proved a particular hardship to the poor, so the Alliance has voted 20,000 francs as a subvention to kitchens established in connection with Jewish schools, and thousands of children are not benefiting thereby.
It is announced that on the reopening of the Chamber of Deputies the Minister of Domains will submit a project modifying the artisans' law. The government has found that the law does not work well, and with the view of a possible modification of it the Artisans' Chamber of Bucharest has requested all similar bodies in Roumania to make suggestions for changes advisable.
Many Jewish artisans are still claiming in vain the trade certificates, which are refused to them under various pretexts, and without which they are not entitled to carry on their business.