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education. It will be noticed that for the total population of Russia the age period of from 10 to 19 is the one that shows the highest percentage of people able to read, while among the Jews it is, on the contrary, the age period of from 20 to 29, and the difference between this age period and the one immediately preceding is 2 per cent among the females and as much as 11 per cent among the males. If the natural progress of educational facilities be taken into additional consideration, it follows that the percentage of persons acquiring the ability to read and write many years after the passing of the school period is even greater than the percentages given above indicate.

The same tendency is noticed in the overcrowded night schools of New York City.

Still the “kheder" remains the most important educational institution of the Jewish Pale. In the absence of other and better facilities the “kheder” has an important function to fulfill. It does not follow that it does it in a satisfactory manner, the "melamed” having in the majority of cases neither the fitness nor the facilities for successful teaching. The methods are antiquated and the environments indescribably bad. The facilities of the schoolroom may be imagined, or at least guessed at, if one remembers that the tuition fees from 15 to 20 pupils are the only source of income of the “melamed;"' and in view of the poverty of his clients these tuition fees can not amount to much. Yet, while the income of the “melamed” is small, the expense of education is a heavy burden to a poor family with several children of school age. For a half-year term the average tuition fees vary from 10 to 15 rubles ($5.15 to $7.73) for the younger pupils, and from 12 to 25 rubles ($6.18 to $12.88) for the older and more advanced pupils. The fees are usually higher in the large cities and lower in the small settlements, the average being about 25 rubles ($12.88) a year in the former and 18 rubles ($9.27) a year in the latter. Such fees scarcely provide the “melamed” with an income of 200 to 300 rubles ($103 to $154.50) a year, therefore the hiring of special premises for school purposes is out of the question, and the dwelling of the “melamed” is at the same time the school. Only in about 20 per cent of the schools investigated was a separate room specially provided in the house of the teacher. In the remaining 80 per cent the schoolroom was the living room of the teacher's family, which was at the same time the sleeping room, the kitchen, etc. The furnishings of a typical “kheder” are limited to a long table provided on both sides with plain wooden benches, so high that the children's feet hang down without touching the floor, because the teacher can not afford to provide the children of different ages with benches of different heights. Usually there is not even a back to lean on, and the children are forced to bend over the table through the long school day. The air in this improvised schoolroom has often been described as killing. During the winter months the

dearth of fuel necessitates keeping the windows closed, and the air is vitiated not only by the overcrowding of the room with pupils but also by the cooking of food.

All these objectionable features of the typical “kheder” are accentuated by the excessively long hours, almost as excessive as were the hours in the factory before the struggle of the Bund for a shorter workday began. The antiquated methods of instruction, together with the zeal of the parents that their son understand the intricacies of Bible exegetics at the time when the American boy has scarcely advanced beyond the second reader, encourage these long hours. The school day begins at 9 a. m. and ends at 5, sometimes at 6 or even at 8 p. m., so that the school day lasts anywhere from eight to eleven hours. Only in the larger cities, especially of the South, where the Jewish traditions are weakened and Jewish learning not held in such esteem, does the school day sometimes fall to seven hours. When the Jewish boy spends the entire day for many years, and practically without any vacation, in this atmosphere in the strenuous mental effort of disentangling the medieval intricacies of the commentators of the Bible, there is little wonder that he leaves the “kheder" an anæmic, emaciated youth, with physical powers much impaired.

The talmud-thora” is a communal school, supported by the Jewish community, in which an effort is made to do away with the hygienic and educational imperfections of the “kheder” system. The Hebrew branches are given sufficient prominence to make the school satisfactory to the orthodox, while at the same time are introduced the Russian language and some general educational subjects. The “talmud-thora” is gradually growing into a national school for the Jews; but the number of these institutions is limited, because of their general expensiveness.

An improvement of the school facilities for the Jews in Russia will come only after the many restrictions are abolished and with substantial assistance from the Government funds.

The facts detailed in the foregoing pages indicate how deeply the lives of the Russian Jews have been influenced by the legal conditions under which they live. A study of these conditions and their economic results seems to be doubly important for a clear understanding of Russian Jewish immigration to this country; not only because these conditions shape the physical, psychological, and economic status of the immigrant, but also because they are of decisive influence in determining the very dimensions of the current of immigration from Western Russia to the United States.

RECENT REPORTS OF STATE BUREAUS OF LABOR STATISTICS.

CALIFORNIA.

Twelfth Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the State

of California for the years 1905–1906. W.V.Stafford, Commissioner.

244 PP.

The following are the subjects considered in this report: Social statistics, 49 pages; Chinese and Japanese, 11 pages; condition of farm labor, 10 pages; wage statistics, 84 pages; factory inspection, 8 pages; child labor, 3 pages; employment offices, 4 pages; strikes and lockouts, 32 pages; rehabilitation of San Francisco, 7 pages; welfare work, 1 page; labor laws and court decisions, 21 pages.

SOCIAL STATISTICS.-Criminal statistics (misdemeanors, felonies, and juvenile crimes) and statistics of marriages and divorces for the year ending June 30, 1906, are embraced in this presentation.

CHINESE AND JAPANESE.—This chapter comprises an investigation into the condition of the Orientals in the State. The former biennial report (1903–1904) of the Bureau led to the conclusion that on October 1, 1904, there were upward of 20,000 Japanese and in the neighborhood of 40,000 Chinese resident in the State. Since that date, from the records of the steamship companies, exact figures of arrivals and departures are obtainable. During the two years ending September 30, 1906, the net increase in arrivals over departures of Japanese at the port of San Francisco was 13,658, while during the same period the departures of Chinese from the same port exceeded the arrivals by 7,748, thus showing a net decrease in the Chinese population to that extent.

Excluding agricultural labor, tables are given showing for the year 1906 wages per day, per week, and per month in various occupations of Chinese in San Francisco and Oakland and at points outside of those cities; also, similar data for Japanese in different sections of California.

In Fresno County and in the Pajaro and Vaca valleys, devoted extensively to fruit and vegetable growing, the Japanese have largely displaced the white labor and to a great extent that of the Chinese. More than half of the fruit orchards of Vaca Valley and adjoining foothills are said to be in the hands of Japanese lessees or owners,

The wages

and many of the vineyards about Fresno are leased or owned by Japanese.

CONDITION OF FARM LABOR.—Under this title the social, sanitary, and economic conditions surrounding white and oriental farm labor in different sections of the State are set forth. In two tables (the first for white male employees) are given, for the year 1906, the wages paid per day and per month without and with board for both permanent and temporary farm help, and (for oriental male employees) the wages paid per day and per month without board for both permanent and temporary farm help. The following summary statement respecting wages is reproduced:

Taking the entire State, there is very little difference between the amounts paid for temporary and for permanent employees, except in harvest time, when the wages are greatly increased. can safely be put at $1.25 per day and $30 per month with board for white help the State over, and $1.50 per day and $45 per month for the same kind of help without board. Harvest hands must be rated an exception. Oriental laborers command a rate of $1.25 per day and $35 per month, always without board.

WAGE STATISTICS.—Wages and hours of labor of employees in railroad construction, on steam and electric railways, in stores and factories, in gold mines, and in lumber woods and sawmills are presented in this chapter. The tables give for each industry shown occupations, number of establishments and of employees, classified daily hours of labor with number of employees in each class, and classified wages per hour, day, week, or month with number of employees in each class.

CHILD LABOR.-An act regulating the employment of children was passed at the 1905 session of the State legislature. It provides that no child under 14 years of age shall be employed except (1) during the regular vacation of the public schools and (2) during the sickness of the parent, on a certificate of the judge of the juvenile court allowing the exemption. It also provides that no minor under 18 years of age shall be employed more than nine hours per day. All minors between 14 and 16 years of age must be provided with age and schooling certificates, which must be kept on file by the employer.

Since the enactment of the law child labor in six important industrial lines, in different sections of the State, has been investigated, viz, in stores, in canneries, in laundries, in can and glass factories, in clothing and shoes, and in the iron trades. Canneries showed the greatest percentage of child labor, many of the children, however, being vacation employees. Laundries showed very little child labor; and the iron trades employed mostly boys between 16 and 18 years of age when minor help was used, and many of these were apprentices.

EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES.--The law relating to employment agencies makes it the duty of the State commissioner of labor to exercise certain jurisdiction over these institutions. From the records of the most important agencies throughout the State tables have been compiled showing for the year 1906 the wages and occupations of persons sent out at various times, and the number of persons who secured employment at each occupation. Data from six Japanese employment agencies in San Francisco are also given.

STRIKES AND LOCKOUTS.—This chapter of the report relates to statistics of the strikes and lockouts occurring in California for the five years ending December 31, 1905. The figures were furnished from data collecied by the United States Bureau of Labor for its Twenty-first Annual Report.

REHABILITATION OF SAN FRANCISCO.--The work of the free employment agency operated for the National Red Cross Society by the State labor bureau from May 2 to May 29, 1906, for the benefit of the people thrown out of employment by the earthquake and fire of April 18, 19, and 20 preceding is recounted under this caption. A comparative table is also presented showing daily wages in selected occupations in San Francisco building trades on June 10 and on August 20, 1906. During this period there was a general increase in wages of from 15 to 20 per cent. In September an investigation of the change in house rents since April was undertaken. Of 157 dwellings considered, the increase in rents in the later month over the earlier averaged 27

Of cost of living it is stated: “There seems to be little difference in the cost of living in San Francisco, aside from house rent, from that existing a year ago."

WELFARE WORK.-In the principal cities of the State provision is made in many stores and factories for supplying meals at cost, rest rooms for temporarily indisposed employees, facilities for educational improvement, medical attendance and hospital privileges, sick benefits, etc.; and it is becoming the general custom to allow pay during the summer vacation to clerks and office staff in retail and wholesale stores and in factories. A recent investigation showed from one to two weeks' vacation with pay to 198 employees in Stockton, 986 in Oakland, and 3,134 in San Francisco. In addition, many firms pay wages during sickness.

LABOR LAWS AND COURT DECISIONS.-- This chapter reproduces the factory and workshop law of 1889 and the laws passed and amended at the 1905 session of the State legislature, together with decisions of the supreme court upholding the validity of the childlabor laws.

per cent.

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