Convention Votes Measures to Guard Principles of Orthodoxy; To Form Orthodox Publication Society
No stand will be taken officially by the Union of Orthodox Congregations on the Cleveland Jewish Center case, it was declared at the closing session of the annual convention of the Union. The Union will be in contact with the Cleveland Orthodox committee and will intervene for peace at the proper moment, it was declared.
The last session which was held at the Sheath Israel Synagogue, Spanish and Portuguese Congregation, acted on a number of recommendations submitted by the various committees at work during the three days of the convention. One of the resolutions called on the branches of the Union to work for the enactment in their respective states of kosher laws similar to the New York state law.
The creation of an Orthodox Jewish Publication Society for the issuance of books on Jewish religious subjects in English. Yiddish and Hebrew, was decided upon following a review of conditions given by Dr. Pereira Mendes who stated that during his travels recently he observed an amazing ignorance of things Jewish in the Jewish communities.
At the recommendation of Rabbi Leo Jung the convention authorized the Rabbinical Council of the Union to cooperate with the Union of Orthodox Rabbis in the question of marriages and divorces to the end that only such rabbis who are ordained and who are fitted to perform these ceremonies should officiate.
The convention also decided to send a cablegram of thanks to Baron Edmund de Rothschild for his contribution of $#163;18,000 for the Palestine Hebrew schools on the condition that religion be made a part of the curriculum. The attitude of the Orthodox congregations as represented in the Union toward the rebuilding of Palestine was embodied in a resolution urging that Palestine be built in accordance with the spirit of the Torah. Rabbi Wolf Gold speaking on behalf of the Mizrachi urged the delegates not to be satisfied merely with expressing a pious wish but to participate in the work.
A fund is to be created for aiding the smaller congregations in the rural communities who cannot afford the permanent services of a Rabbi.
The new Executive elected consists of Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein, president; Dr. Pereira Mendes, Dr. B. Drachman, Julius Ducas, Rabbi M. S. Margolies, honorary presidents; Rabbi Leo Jung. Captain N. Taylor Phillips, Samuel Feuerstein, Israel Gomborow, Rabbi Israel Rosenberg, Dr. M. Seidel, vice-presidents; M. B. Lande, treasurer. Other members of the executive are Mortimer Mencken, recording secretary, Morris Engelman, financial secretary and Albert Wald. corresponding secretary. To the Rnbbinical Council were elected Rabbi Leo Jung, president. Rabbi Alfred Cohen, secretary, in addition to the executive committee.
In formulating the stand of the Union on the unchangeableness of the synagogue ritual and on the Palestine question. Rabbi Leo Tung stated in his address:
“We stand for absolute loyalty to the Din Torah. We stand without an iota of compromise for the faith of our Fathers, for the revelation on Mount Sinai, for the God given destiny of Israel. We stand for the unbroken continuity of Jewish tradition. Yekum Purkan of Sabbath morning connects us with Israel in Babylon. Lechoh Dodi of Friday night forges the strong link with mediaeval Spain. Kol Nidre on Yom Kippur eve unites us with universal Israel of today.
“The Union has nothing hut pity for a love of tradition which expresses itself in a curious solicitude, to eliminate it in a gradual sympathetic manner. We are not interested in any future of Israel divorced from loyalty to the Torah. We are not interested in any future of Ererz Israel removed from our ancient moorings. To us the land of our Fathers represents the great opportunity to realize the behest’s and ideals of the Torah in most perfect form. To us the genius of Israel, its contributions of the past, its achievements of the present, its aspirations for the future, arc rooted, nourished, and secured in the loyalty of God’s people to God’s law.”
DR. HARRIS ESTABLISHES DE MILLE’S MOTHER WAS JEWISH
In reference to the production of the screen picture “King of Kings.” commented on in your columns, it was stated that the author Mr. Cecil De Mille denied that he was born of a Jewish mother.
I am in a position to give positive information on this subject. I was very intimate with the De Mille family when William and Cecil were children. The brother of Mrs. De Mille was a close friend of mine. Mrs. De Mille was a Miss Samuel, belonging to one of the most representative Jewish families of England. Sir Herbert Samuel, former High Commissioner of Palestine and Cabinet Minister, was a member of this house. Mr. De Mille, the father was studying to enter the Episcopal ministry. When he became engaged to Miss Samuel she was converted in order to marry him: he decided later not to enter the ministry and devoted himself to theatrical work.
I have not seen the production of the ”King of Kings” and, therefore, can say nothing on either side on the merits of the controversy. It should however, be borne in mind that the New Testament was edited at a time when antagonism against the Jews raged rather fiercely. Therefore any production following its text would tend to give a prejudicial picture of the Jews.
Dr. Maurice H. Harris Temple Israel New York City New York. Nov. 23. 1927