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Rabbi Levenson Elected New President of Mizrachi

Rabbi Jacob Levenson, former chairman of the Executive Committee, was elected president of the American Mizrachi at the Mizrachi convention which closed here yesterday. A resolution expressing regret that Rabbi Berlin’s departure for Palestine prevents his continuation in office and recognizing his great services for the Mizrachi movement, of which he was the founder, was adopted at the convention.

The members of the Executive Committee elected were: Rabbi M. S. Margolies, of New York; Rabbi I. Rosenberg, New York; Rabbi A. M. Ashinsky, Pittsburgh. Pa.; I. August. Detroit, Mich., N. Balotin, Chicago, Ill.; Rabbi B. Boruchoff, Malden, Mass.; Rabbi Borwick, Brockton, Mass.; Rabbi H. Cohen, Cohen-Margolies, New York; A. Dann, Detroit, Mich.; Rabbi I. M. Davidson, Wilkes Barre, Pa.

Rabbi Ch. E. Epstein, Cincinnati, O.: Rabbi S. Eskoisky. New York; I. Feigenbaum, H. Fischel, M. Garfinkel, Washington, D. C.; Louis Gellman, St. Louis, Mo,; J. Goell, New York; M. Hagler, New York; M. Joseph, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Rabbi M. A. Kaplan, New York; Rabbi M. Romm, Minneapolis, Minn.; Rabbi S. Levin, S. Levin, Chicago, Ill.; Rev. L. Novick, Washington; Jacob Mathews, New York; J. Levin, Detroit, Mich.; Rabbi S. Mushkin, Chicago, Ill.; Rabbi B. Notelowitz, Harrisburg, Pa.; Rabbi H. Papkin, New Bedford, Mass.; L. Patinkin, Rabbi E. Pelchowitz, Canton, O.; Jacob Goodman, Rabbi S. Porath, Cleveland, O.; Rabbi N. Z. Riff, Camden, N. J.; B. Plotle, Brooklyn, N. Y.; A. Sachs, Cleveland, O.; Rabbi J. L. Seltzer, New York; Rabbi Abr. Shapiro, Utica, N. Y.; Rabbi Saul Silver, Chicago, Ill.; M. Soskin, Canton, O.; Isaac Blum, Plainfield, N. J.; Rabbi Jacob Goodman, N. Y.

Herman Harris, New York; Abraham Keilson, New York; Isidore Epstein, New York; Mr. Abramowsky, Chicago, Ill; L. Gross, New York; Meyerowitz, New York; Rabbi J. Damasek, New York; Rabbi M. Rabinowitz, Baltimore, Md.; Rabbi S. Zambrowsky, Syracuse, N. Y.; Rabbi S. Sadowsky, Rochester, N. Y.; Rabbi N. Telushkin, New York; J. Rashbaum, Baltimore, Md.; Joshua Goldman, New York; Rabbi M. M. Eckstein, Cleveland.

NEW BUDGET ADOPTED

A budget of $50,600 for the organization’s activities for the forthcoming year was adopted. One half of the budget will be covered, it is expected, by membership dues, the other half includes an item of $12,000 from the United Palestine Appeal, $50,000 from Mizrachi funds and $8,000 from various enterprises.

In a special resolution the convention welcomed the establishment of a Mizrachi Women’s organization, to be known as the United Women’s Mizrachi Organization of America. The organization, which was formed by the women delegates attending the convention was recognized as an integral part of the general Mizrachi organization.

Mr. Isaac Bloom of Plainfield, N. J., announced his donation of a lot on Mount Carmel near Jaffa to the women’s organization for the purpose of constructing a synagogue and a sanitorium there.

PROPOSAL REGARDING JEWISH EDUCATION

A domestic feature of the Mizrachi convention was the debate on the question of Jewish education in America. The discussion developed when Dr. P. Churgin introduced a resolution urging the Mizrachi Organization to issue a call for a conference of representative American Jews active in Jewish education work to consider the reorganization of the Jewish educational system in America. Rabbi Israel Rosenberg, president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, expressed his agreement with the proposal. The charge was made that religious education is being neglected in American Jewish institutions. The proposal was adopted.

The matter of Sabbath observance also came up for discussion which resulted in the adoption of the following resolution:

“Resolved that the Mizrachi movement for the observance of the Sabbath in America should be strengthened. The executive committee is urged to call, together with the Union of Orthodox Rabbis and other interested organizations, a conference for the purpose of seeking ways and means of solving this important problem.”

The convention went on record as endorsing the movement for a five day industrial week.

Branches and members of the Mizrachi organization were urged to take active participation in all Jewish communal affairs in the local communities, with regard to the organization of the social, cultural and charitable institutions. A lively debate developed on this question, in which Rabbi Wolf Gold of San Francisco, Rabbi Inselbuch and Rabbi Jacob Leyenson and others participated. They opposed the resolution recommended by the Committee for Diaspora Interests, emphasizing that although it is imperative for Mizrachi members to participate in the local activities of the community, the Mizrachi, as a political organization, should not aim at gaining control of the Jewish institutions in America. The following resolution was unanimously adopted on this subject:

MIZRACHI PARTICIPATION IN JEWISH COMMUNAL AFFAIRS URGED

“Resolved, that the Mizrachi organization of America, as an organized body of Orthodox Jews, ought to be well represented in all national Jewish institutions; each branch of the Mizrachi is urged to work for the local charitable and other institutions, gaining representation in these institutions, with the view of seeing to it that these institutions be conducted in accordance with Jewish tradition; each Mizrachi branch is urged to actively participate in the local educational institutions with a view to persuading the leaders of the local communities to enlarge the pogram of Jewish instruction and to secure a place for the instruction of the Talmud in the curriculum of the institutions wherever it is possible.”

The resolution also urged the Mizrachi members to propagate the idea of parochial schools. The adoption of the Ivrith B’ivrith method, that is the employment of Hebrew as the language of instruction in the study of Jewish religious subjects, was recommended. The publication of the necessary school books by the Orthodox communities was also urged. The condition that teachers in the local Hebrew schools be religious and ovservers of the Sabbath was emphasized.

A resolution that the Mizrachi lend its assistance to the campaign for the erection of the American Yeshiva College was acclaimed.

An extension of the activities of the organization was also decided upon when the convention adopted a resolution calling upon the Executive to include in its program work for the support of the Universal Yeshiva which is being established in Jerusalem under the leadership of Chief Rabbi A. J. Kook and to lend support to the Jewish educational institutions of the old Yishub in Palestine.

TO BUILD AGRICULTURAL YESHIVA

A plan was also formulated for initiating a movement to establish in Palestine an agricultural Yeshiva, that is an academy where instruction in agriculture and in Talmud will be combined.

Rabbi Jacob Iskolsky, secretary of Ezrath Torah, reported on the activites of the fund created by the Mizrachi to help needy rabbis and Schochtim in Europe and Palestine. During the year over $52,000 were collected, of which $40,000 was sent to Europe and Palestine, where 3,000 received relief. The convention issued an appeal to all branches to strengthen this fund. Additional reports on the same subject were given by Rabbi Israel Rosenberg, president of the Ezrath Torah and Rabbi Inselbuch, vice-president.

A demand that the Central Relief Committee should continue its activity and not decrease its subsidy for the Palestine rabbinate was expressed in a special resolution adopted. The resolution also demands that every Mizrachi member and every Jew to whom the Torah and the Jewish religion are dear should give full recognition to the Chief Rabbinate in Palestine.

The Mizrachi members were urged to invest private capital in Palestine industries in the following resolution which was adopted.

“The convention considers it is duty to draw to the attention of all those to whom Palestine is dear that they should invest money in Palestine industries and also patronize Palestinian products, like wine, matzos, Holy Scrolls, taleisim, etc., being careful to ascertain whether the articles are really brought from Palestine.”

Other resolutions adopted read:

“The Convention obligates every Mizrachi member to help the upbuilding of the Jewish National Home by buying land. It is the duty of each Mizrachi member to buy land in Palestine if he is in a position to do so.

“The Convention instructs the administration of the American Mizrachi Organization to investigate the reliability of the various social and commercial enterprises in Palestine in order to be able to give reliable information to those of our members who desire to invest money in Palestinian corporations or other enterprises.

“The Convention recognizes the great work done by the Mizrachi Merkaz in Palestine in the sense of spreading religious propaganda among the Jewish colonies. The Convention considers as an important step in the work of planting religious work in Palestine the fact that the Merkaz has succeeded in providing a large percentage of the colonies with rabbis and schochtim from the funds of the religious budget, appropriated by the last Zionist Congress.”

The Convention decided to conduct a sale of shares in the Mizrachi bank, aiming at the sale of 20,000 shares.

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