Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 213
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 213
 
collapse when the New York managers of the Baron de Hirsch Fund took them under the arms and gave them a start on a new plan. They themselves had located a partly industrial, partly farming, community in the neighborhood. They persuaded several large clothing contractors to move their plants out to the villages, where they would be assured of steady hands, with much less chance of disturbing strikes; while on the other hand their workers would have steadier work and could never starve in dull seasons, for they could work their farms and gardens. And, indeed, a perfect frenzy for spading and hoeing seized them when the crops appeared, with promise of unlimited potatoes for the digging of them. The experiment is still in progress. It is an experiment, because as yet the Hirsch Fund millions back the colonies up, and there is no passing of reasonable judgment upon them till they have stood alone awhile. To all appearances they are prospering, Woodbine, the Hirsch colony, especially so, with its agricultural school that has set out upon the mission of turning the Jew back to the soil from which he has been barred so long. Its pupils came out of the sweat shops and the tenement barracks of the Ghetto, and a likelier lot it would not be easy to find. One can but wish that the hopes of their friends may be realized in fullest measure. They have put their hands to a task that

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