Rosen, Joseph A.

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ROSEN, JOSEPH A. (1877–1949), agronomist and social worker. Rosen was born in Moscow. He studied agriculture in Russia and Germany and emigrated to the U.S. in 1903. His discovery, the "Rosen rye," was introduced all over the U.S. In 1921 Rosen went to Russia for the *American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (jdc) on a relief mission for Jews. He initiated a land settlement project in the Ukraine and Crimea in 1924 for poor Jews who had been deprived of Soviet citizenship rights. Heading the Agro-Joint, which was sponsored by the jdc for colonizing activities, he obtained the agreement and financial participation of the Soviet government for the project (1928), through which some 14,000 families were settled on the land by 1934. Artisan cooperatives, trade schools, and health stations were also organized. By 1938 the Agro-Joint was dissolved and its Russian Jewish staff was arrested and disappeared; most of the settlers either left the colonies for urban occupations or were killed by the Germans during the war. In 1939 Rosen was sent by the jdc on an investigation of British Guiana as a place for Jewish settlement. Later he spent some time guiding a jdc-sponsored settlement in the Dominican Republic.


H. Agar, Saving Remnant (1960), index; O. Handlin, A Continuing Task (1964), index; L. Jung (ed.), Jewish Leaders (1953), 393–403.

[Yehuda Bauer]