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(the Jewish Colonisation Association)

A charitable organisation founded in London in 1891 by Baron Moritz von Hirsch with the aim of supporting the emigration of Jews from Russia to Western Europe and Argentina, where a small Jewish colony was being planned. In 1896, at a meeting of the leaders of EKO in Paris, a decision was taken to give support not only to Argentina but also to the Jewish colonies in Erets Israel, and to promote the development of agriculture among the Jews of Russia. At the beginning of the second decade of the 20th century EKO founded or financed 40 professional-technical schools and training farms, organised by ORT in the towns and villages of Ukraine. (Bertshteyn E. A., "ORT in Odessa". World ORT Archive, London, D05a003, p. 5.) EKO's work was continued in Soviet Russia; together with Agro-Joint and the World ORT Union it took an active part in, and gave financial support to, Jewish agricultural colonisation in the USSR.