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Agudath Israel in Session in Vienna

August 16, 1923
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With greetings from President Hainisch, Premier Siepel and other Austrian government and municipal officials, the Congress (Knessiah G’dolah) of the Agudah Israel representing the ultra-orthodox Jewish organizations opened its meetings here today. Two hundred sixty delegates were present.

During his premiership, Premier Siepel’s representative declared, he had always guarded jealously the Jewish rights. The Congress decided to send a message in the form of a resolution to the League of Nations, in which it was declared that this was the first elected Congress adhering to the principles of the Torah, since the destruction of the Temple. The message expressed its pain at the “human errings” of the nations and the hope that the League will help bring them back to God.

The attitude of the Agudath Israel towards Zionism was discussed by Rabbi Rosenheim of Frankfort.

All journalists attending the Congress were instructed to wear their hats at the sittings. Many of the delegates wear top hats giving the Congress the aspect of a European parliament.

Greetings of Rabbis Diskin and Sonnenfield of Jerusalem were brought to the assembly by Rabbi of Jerusalem, after the Congress reassembled following its adjournment for Minchah, Slobodka, Lithuania, told the delegates that the Jewish soul “was being pogrommed by the Thorah-Less immigrants who were being brought to Palestine”.

Deputy Levin of Poland urged the Agudah to establish peace with all Jews advising the delegates to further the work of the Agudah and avoid polities.

Deputy Dubin of Latvia declared the “Knessiah” was incomplete because of the absence of representatives of Russian Jewry, who “were groaning under the Bolshevists rule”.

The Agudah wishes an understanding with the Zionists, but the Zionists reject all approaches, Deputy Nissim Nahum of Bagdad declared. The sentiment was voiced by Rabbi Sternbach of Basel.

The American delegates are urging the establishment of a “Keren Dathy” or religious fund for the support. irrespective of party, of religiously conducted educational colonization activities in Palestine.

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