Jerusalem (Feb. 2)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
The British air station at Gaza constructed by the Jewish labor cooperative, Solel Boneh, has been completed and turned over to the government.
Under the contract, the Solel Boneh had to complete the work within two months. The station covers an area of 40×30 meters. Forty workers were employed during the construction.
The government expressed satisfaction with the station.
RABBI FOSTER REPLIES TO RABBI WOLSEY
In behalf of historic accuracy alone, with no desire to prolong a discussion on a subject alrady happily concluded, may I be permitted to correct several statements made by my good friend Dr. Wolsey, in regard to my letter of January 26th. The facts I presented in my letter were unassilable, though Dr. Wolsey chooses to interpret them from his own point of view. Dr. Wolsey questions my use of Rabbi Silver’s name as one who spoke against the resolutions of the Social Justice Commission, yet he admits that Rabbi Silver suggested some other phrasing of one of the principles. It was exactly to change the phrasing of the resolution which caused the whole discussion. The mere act of suggesting a change which might run all the way from a negative to a qualifying word or phrase, indicates opposition to a matter under debate.
Dr. Wolsey does me the honor to quote from my study of the Workingmen and the Synagogue, but he fails to note that his references applied mainly to what I found the workingmen said about the Synagogue, but in no part of the study can there be found a single phrase that suggests that the Synagogue change its fundamental function of unifying and organizing all Jews on a basis of religious equality, for the sake of attacting the working people. We want them, we need them, we are getting them without endangering the cause of unity in Israel. My opposition to the report of the Commission at the Cleveland Convention grew out of my previous study of the question and a close analysis of my present attitude will disclose its harmony with my previous views. Whether Dr. Wolsey was serious or humorous in his references may be difficult to determine, but it is significant that he admitted having carefully read my paper and connected it with the report of his commission, which cannot justly be described as a joke on me.
As a parliamentarian, Dr. Wolsey is absolutely incorrect in charging me with “denaturing principle 7.” The Convention did whatever denaturing was done. It is true, some of it was done at my suggestion, but when my suggestion of a change of phrase was overwhelmingly adopted, it became and is the voice of the Convention.
Dr. Wolsey is incorrect in calling my statement of Dr. Lee K. Frankel’s request to withdraw his name from the report, “absolutely untrue.” I wrote: “When Dr. Wolsey stated that the Commission desired that the adoption of the resolutions imply the en Jorsement of the long preamble also, Dr. Lee K. Frankel, a member of the Commission with drew his signature to the report.” That ## absolutely true statemetn. But it is fair to add, which I did not record in my first letter both because it was not vital to my purpose and because it reflected upon the Chairman’s own judgment and authority, the following fact: Dr. Frankel did not press the withdrawal of his signature to the report as explained by Dr. Wolsey, simply because Dr. Wolsey withdrew his own interpretation of the whole report, holding argument and resolutions as being essentially and logically interrelated. With regard to the actual phrasing of principle No. 6 which Rabbi Wolsey claims I misstated, from my own notes made on the Convention floor and read to and adopted by the Convention. I have the following: “The duty of the Synagogue and its pulpit to speak courageously on all human rights as part of its prophetic function.”
A fair and friendly view of the whole episode would be the following: The authors and friends of the Social Justice Report suggested to the Convention the adoption of the report as first presented. In the course of the discussion a large number of delegates suggested changes of phrases, modifications of sentences, etc. The Convention listened and finally decided that the original resolutions must not pass. The Convention is to be congratulated and we must be satisfied for the present with the results as far as the Union of American Hebrew Congregations is concerned.
SOLOMON FOSTER. Rabbi of Temple B’nai Jeshurun. Newark. N. J., Feb. 1. 1927.