Asheville, N. C. (Jun. 26)
(Jewish Daily Bulletin)
Two closely related discussions occupied the Thursday evening session of the Central Conference of American Rabbis meeting here, when papers were read on the subject of “Jewish Champions of Religious Liberty” by Rabbi Sidney S. Tedesche of New Haven, Conn, and on “The Influence of Judaism on the Founders of the Republic,” read by Rabbi Morris M. Feuerlicht of Indianapolis, Ind.
Jewish champions of religious liberty began with Abraham and Moses and continued down through the ages to the present day, Dr. Tedesche declared, tracing the effort of the Jew for freedom of religious thought and action and the struggle to obtain them against great odds.
Rabbi Feuerlicht, opening his address on “The Influence of Judaism on the Founders of the Republic, declared that the Sesqui-centennial of American Independence this year provides a fitting opportunity for studying the relationship between that important event in world history and Judaism.
After presenting an exhaustive historical examination of the facts, Dr. Feuerlicht said: “The late Oscar S. Straus in his book on this subject states it as his conviction that America’s three-fold form of government, executive, legislative and judicial, while owing its origin to similar departments in the government of England and to the them existing forms of colonial government, had already been anticipated by the ancient Hebrew Commonwealth. In any event, whatever its origin as to form, it will be difficult to dislodge its claim in the spirit and essence of our constitution. The influence of the Hebrew Commonwealth was paramount in that it was not only the highest authority for the principle, rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God, but also because it was in itself a divine precedent for a pure democracy as distinguished from monarchy, aristocracy or any other form of government. By that means and to that extent it had a decisive influence in guiding the American people in the selection of their form of government.”
The Conference recommitted a recoommendation on birth control presented by the Commission on Social Justice for further study in an academic way and in accordance with Jewish traditions at the Friday morning session.
Representatives of the Conference were authorized to attend the sessions of the Social Welfare Societies meeting at Olivet, Michigan during August. A committee was also appointed to join with other religious bodies, in an investigation of the strike of engineers and firemen on the Western Maryland Railroad.
Rabbi Edward L. Israel’s paper on the occupations of Jews in the United States contradicted the accusation that the Jews in America are all money lenders or millionaires and exploded the impression that they dominate only in commercial lines. His paper contended that Jews are employed in large numbers as artisans and in agriculture. Four percent of the employees in the Ford plant in 1917 were Jews. Despite the eminence of many Jewish stars, the Jews does not dominate in the theatrical profession, it was declared by the paper.
Other malicious and damaging generalizations of Jewish dominance in various fields were proved to be false according to a thorough, scientific and statistical study.