“Oscar S. Straus, late United States Cabinet Member, Ambassador to Turkey, philanthropist and statesman, would not have been in a position to serve this country in the manner which he did had the immigration law then been similar to that in operation now,” declared Hon. Alfred M. Cohen, Cincinnati banker and industrialist and President of the Independent Order B’nai B’rith, at a dinner given in his honor Sunday night at the Astor Hotel by the District Grand Lodge, No. 1.
Mr. Cohen, who was elected to the presidency of the Order last year at the Convention of the fraternity in Atlantic City, came to New York for the purpose of delivering the presidential message to the convention of the District No. 1.
Maurice Bloch, leader of the Democrats in the New York State Legislature, Supreme Court Justice Mitchell May, Louis W. Osterweis, the newly elected President of the District. Bertram M. Aufsesser, the retiring President of the district and others were speakers at the dinner which was attended by 500 persons.
Mr. Cohen in his address reviewed the history of the Order which was originated in New York City 84 years ago when the Jewish population in the United States was less than 25,000. The originators of the fraternity set out on a work of bettering the position of the Jew and maintaining his high reputation in the United States. The Order has in the course of its existence functioned as a social service agency, as an Americanization agency and has occupied a central position in Jewish life in America, serving as a factor for uniting the community.
Mr. Cohen lamented the fact that much strife and division is to be noticed at present among American Jews and made a strong plea for unity. He pointed to the fact that the Independent Order B’nai B’rith is a democratic organization striving to minister to the need of the Jew as well as to his strength. He dwelt particularly on the work of the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundations.
The cornerstone of the new building for the congregation of Ohab Zedek Synagogue, at 118 West Ninety-fifth Street, New York, was laid Sunday. The principal address was delivered by Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein, of the Institutional Synagogue. Other speakers were Dr. Louis I. Harris, Health Commissioner, and Judge Henry M. R. Goodman. Cantor Joseph Rosenblatt sang. The cornerstone was set in place by William Weiss, William Friedman and Emil Neufield.
It is the fifth time in its fifty years of existence that the increase in the congregation has compelled the synagogue to seek a new home.
The campaign to raise funds for the Yeshivah in Hebron, Palestine, will be launched Sunday evening, May 16 when Rabbi Mordeeai Moishe Epstein, dean and founder of the Yeshivah, will be honored at a $100-a-plate banquet at the Hotel Astor.
Morris Stern, Chairman of the dinner committee, announced that more tahn 1,000 persons are expected to attend the dinner Sunday.