Brandeis’ Readiness to Return to Praticipation in Zionist Affairs Creates Excitement at Atlantic Cit
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Brandeis’ Readiness to Return to Praticipation in Zionist Affairs Creates Excitement at Atlantic Cit

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(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

With serious problems confronting the Zionist movement the world over, paticularly affecting the situation in Palestine, and emphasizing the urgent need of reorganization, in the America can, organization, the annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America, marking the 30th anniversary of its existence, went into session late Sunday afternoon, at the Chelsea Hotel here.

Seven hundred and fifty-six delegates, representing numerous Zionist districts and regions, as well as contributors to the United Paletine Appeal and Hadassah the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, were in attendance. Of this number 427 represented Zionist districts, 258 Hadassah 24 the Order Sons of Zion and 37 represented United Palestine Appeal contributors who were given representation by special invitation of the administration.

Interest in the problems facing the Zionist movement was in evidence among the delegates to a much greater extent than that observed in previous years, due to the fact that the opening session and the week-end days prior to the formal opening, passed under the spell of echoes of the Cleveland Zionist convention which ushered in a new period in the history of American Zionism, since the split with the Brandeis group occured. Although no official pronouncement was made to that effect, reports circulated by leaders of a recently formed oppositional group, gave the impression to the delegates that a return of Louis D. Brandeis, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, was an immediate possibility. provided that certain conditions are met. These reports gave rise to heated discussion which found expression in lobby conversations and in caucuses called by groups of delegates, who were adherents either of the administration or of the oppositional group. The opposition group was said to be headed by Emanuel Neumann, Executive Chairman of the United Palestine Appeal and member of the Administrative Committee of the Zionist Organization of America.

It was stated that a month ago Mr. Neumann submitted his resignation from the Administrative Committee due to differences which had arisen between him and the Committee. Others who were identified with the opposition were Israel Goldberg, Publicity Director of the United Palestine Appeal and Morris Zeldin, New York director of the United Palestine Appeal. It appeared that discussions caused by the opposition would lead to a marked division in the ranks of the Zionist membership.

A calming influence in this direction was the message received by the convention from Mr. Felix M. Warburg, banker and philanthropist, Chairman of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, who recently returned from Palestine where he visited as one of the members of the Joint Palestine Survey Commission of the Jewish Agency. The message of Mr. Warburg, which was received with a long lasting ovation, read as follows:

“Regretting my inability to be present I hope that your meeting will result in a united effort of all interested in the building of Palestine to furnish the people entrusted with your executive duties at Jerusalem with the financial and moral backing they need. No personal preference must be permitted to endanger the situation which is serious enough as it is. Dr. Weizmann is sacrificing his time and I am afraid his health in the cause and his self-sacrificing efforts ought to be supported with unanimous enthusiasm. Best wishes.”

Similar was the effect of the message of Dr. Chaim Weizmann and Judge Otto Rosalsky. “If peace in Jewry in general is so essential a facotor in the fulfillment of our highest aims, how much more essential is it in our own ranks? We require all our energies for the accoplishment of the stupendous task before us. For this reason we hope that the remarkable demonstration of confidence and loyalty that marked the recent celebration of your president’s (Louis Lipsky’s) 50th birthday, and of his completion of twenty-five years’ devoted service to our cause, will be renewed on the occasion of your convention. With him as your leader you have gained your present commanding position in our movement and under his continued guidance you will assuredly be able to render still more valuable contributions to the return of Fretz Israel,” Dr. Weizmann’s message read.


In his message, Dr. Weizmann, reviewing the present condition in Palestine and in Zionism, referred to mistakes that have been make. The Fourth Aliyah had overestimated the addition to the population which the country is capable of absorbing at the present stage of its development. The influx of people into Palestine must bear a certain relation to the influx of national and private capital and this relation has been ignored. But this fact must not be allowed to obscure the clear recognition, that we may proudly derive from our positive achivements, that Palestine is capable of accommodating a vast Jewish settlement, if only the Jewish people would provide the requisite funds. Let us but learn the lessons of past experience, let us but amend our mistakes and multiply our efforts, and we need not have any doubt whatsoever that Eretz Israel will fulfill all our hopes.”

The interest of the delegates in the reorganization question and the possible return to Justice Brandeis to Zionist leadership was intensified when action along these lines was taken by the leaders of the Hadassah convention which was in session here for several days. Interest centered around the text of a letter which was not made public but had been addressed by Justice Brandeis to Mr. Jacob deHaas, formerly Executive Secretary of the Zionist Organization of America, prior to the Cleveland convention. In this letter Justice Brandeis expressed his readiness to lend his moral and finacial aid to the American Zionist Organization, as well as to take an active part in the affairs of the Organization, at such time as would not interfere with his judicial duties. This participation was to be forthcoming only if certain conditions were met. The nature of these conditions were not specified by the sponsors of the movement, but it was learned that it would involve a general change of personnel in the administration of the Zionist Organization and would also call for an interregnum period. According to this proposal the present Zionist convention would not elect an administration for the forthcoming year but rather a commission of ten or fifteen to be composed of men who are to be approved by Justice Brandeis, to bring about the reorganization of the organization and to institute such policies as would remedy the situation in Palestine.

It was learned that the leaders of the Hadassah Organization. while not in favor of ousting the Lipsky administration in loto. was in favor of the proposal of a provisional commission with the participation of Justice Brandeis. Nevertheless, the Hadassah convention took no direct action on this question. The matter was disposed of by a resolution which gives the Hadassah delegates free hand in voting on the subject at the general Zionist convention.

The proposal was heatedly discussed in the administration camp. At a meeting of the Committee held Sunday morning the subject was thoroughly discussed. It was learned that although no objections were raised against the recentry of Justice Brandeis to active leadership in the Zionist movement. doubt was expressed whether Justice Brandeis would find it possible to resume active leadership. It was also argued that a leadership by proxy would not meet the needs of the hour.


The convention was formally opened at 3 P.M. at the Chelsea Hotel. Following greetings of the representative of the local Zionist Committee, and by Mr. Persky. City Counsellor of Atlantic City, in behalf of the Mayor, Mr. Lipsky delivered the President’s message.

In his message the President of the Zionist Organization of America took vigorous exception to the efforts of those who would place the Zionist movement under what he termed to be a “tutelage.” He emphasized the need of reorganization of Zionist forces, both in the United States, in London and in Jerusalem, and presented a plan which would, in his opinion, offer a solution. He objected however, to what he termed the “dry efficiency system” which represents nothing bu a “replica of philanthropy” on Palestine soil. He protested against the defeatists who would call for an interregnum regime which would indicate admission of failure. “Just as the Jewish people cannot be declared in a state of bankruptcy, so cannot the Zionist movement,” he exclaimed.

In outlining the policy of the American delegation to the Fifteenth Zionist Congress Mr. Lipsky announced that the Zionist delegates will demand a radical change in the policy of the Zionist Executive. with regard to its Palestine work. The main feature of this change consists of what would eventually be the abolition of the obligatory Zionist budget around which all disputes of the Zionist factions center at the Congress. He declared the budget to be no longer suited to the present state of affairs. “We have confidence in Dr. Weizmann’s leadership. It is however clear that a change of method is necessary and with his guidance we will succeed in bringing about this change.” he stated. He also advocated that all colonization activity in Palestine be discontinued until the Experts Commission of the Jewish Agency submits its report, the interim to be employed for consolidating what has been acquired. “Adversity has one good advantage. that it gives possibility for retrospection and correction,” the President of the Zionist Organization stated The crisis may help us introduce a new Zionist era, he said. The Zionist Executive is to be constitutionally prevented from incurring obligations beyond the assured actual income, instead of undertaking obligations which are calculated upon expected recepts a few years hence.


With regard to the affais of the Zionist Organization of America. Mr. Lipsky also urged a thorough reorganization which would include the election of a new personnel. He offered a plan whereby the Zionist Organization of America would be restored to its position instead of the anomalous relations which existed between the Organization. the parent body, and the various fund-raising agency which were created by it. He recommended that the organization abstain from undertaking to grant subventions to the various cultural activities unless sp{SPAN}##cient{/SPAN} funds are available He explained the matter of the deticit incurred by the organization by the fact that the administration, acting upon recommendations of the annual conventions, supported a number of activities which are of the almost importance to the Zionist movement.

Mr. Lipsky was given a long ovation at the beginning and conclusion of his message.

The praesidium of the convention was constituted when the convention adopted the recommendations offered by Joseph Committee. Mr Barondess nominated Louis Lipsky as the Chairman of the convention. Miss Henrietta Szold. Morris Rothenberg, Judge William M. Lewis of Philadelphia Max Schulman of Chicago and Elihn D. Stone of Boston as vice-chairmen Maurice Samuel, B, Rabelsky and Dr. S Bernstein as secretaries. No other nominations were made and the convention passed upon this list by acclamation.

The first indication of an opposition in the convention came to the surface when Mrs. Robert Szold, representing the Hadassah, objected to the proposal that the Chairman of the convention appoint a Committee of Committees. Mrs. Szold demanded that the Committee be elected by the convention. The motion of Mrs. Szold was defeated by a majority vote which authorized the Chairman to appoint a committee of twelve.

Stronger symptoms of the forthcoming oppositional storm were the objections raised when the question of dispensing with the annual report of the Zionist Organization of America, submitted by Meyer W. Weisgal, secretary, was taken up. Israel Goldberg, Publicity Director of the United Palestine Appeal, and one of the leaders of the opposition, demanded that the procedure customary at Zionist conventions in America to refer the report to the Committees be changed this year, to the effect that the report be submitted to discussion and vote. He insisted on offering a motion that the report be rejected. Judge Hugo Pam of Chicago offered a counter motion that the convention take no action on the report at present, but receive it and refer it to the Committees, which will submit their reports on the various recommendations of the report. Judge Pam’s motion pravailed by a majority vote.

The opposition leaders then continued to introduce motions aiming at bringing about a discussion on the report. A motion was then introduced to reconsider the vote of Judge Pam’s resolution. This motion was lost. When the opposition delegates insisted on further discussion on the subject, the Chairman adjourned the session, amid a rather tumultuous scene.

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