Adequate Representation in Jewish Agency Demanded by Orthodox Rabbis’ Union

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

A demand that Orthodox Jewry and in particular the Union of Orthodox Rabbis in the United States and Canada be given adequate representation in the Jewish Agency which is soon to be formed to further the rebuilding of Palestine as a general Jewish responsibility, was formulated in a resolution adopted at the closing session of the twenty-fifth annual convention of the Union. The convention was concluded Thursday morning at 2 A.M.

Rabbi Israel Rosenberg of Brooklyn, former chairman of the praesidium, was elected president. Rabbi M. Z. Margolies, Rabbi B. L. Levinthal of Philadelphia, Rabbi Eliezar Silver of Springfield, Mass., were chosen honorary presidents. Rabbi Isaac Siegel was elected chairman of the Executive, and Dr. Bernard Revel and Rabbi Joseph Kanowitz, vice-presidents. Rabbi J. L. Seltzer was elected secretary.

A resolution endorsing the United Palestine Appeal and expressing “joy that American Jewry is participating in the Palestine work conducted in the traditional spirit”, as urged by the Mizrachi Zionist Organization, was adopted. The resolution expressing approval of the Mizrachi work, recorded the satisfaction of the Orthodox rabbis over the considerable improvement in the condition of religious observances in the Palestine colonies.

Rabbi Wolf Gold, who spent several years in Palestine as the Mizrachi representative, spoke of “a process of Orthodoxization” which is making itself felt in the country.

The convention expressed thanks to the United States Treasury Department for its recent permission to import Palestine wines for sacramental purposes and recommended that Orthodox Jews give preference to this imported wine. The convention also recommended the work of the Palestine Menorah Building Corporation, and the Orthodox colonies Nachlath Jacob and B’nai Brak. A resolution urging Orthodox Jews to buy Palestine products, particularly Palestine esrogim, was adopted.

The convention also voted to despatch a telegram of thanks to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and to the Central Relief Committee for their support to the Yeshivahs in Europe and in Palestine since the outbreak of the World War. The J. D. C. was urged to continue its support to the Yeshivahs, which are now in a critical position.

The Orthodox Rabbis in a special resolution endorsed the Yeshiva College project and urged their constituencies to give to the Yeshiva full support. Endorsement of other Yeshivahs now functioning in America was expressed.

Chaim Levine, speaking in behalf of the Mohalim Union, complained that in many cases the Abrahamitic rite is performed in hospitals on arbitrary dates and by non-Jewish physicians, which is contrary to Jewish law. The convention recommended that the Mohalim Union affiliate itself with the Union of Orthodox Rabbis and that vigorous steps be taken to prevent the further violation of the law in this manner.

Criticism of the recent formation of the New York Welfare Commissioner. Bird S. Coler. of a laymen’s committee to supervise charity collections. Representation of the Orthodox Rabbis Union on this committee was demanded so that the interests of the various institutions in Europe and Palestine, whose representatives collect funds in the United States, may be safeguarded. The articles which appeared recently in a New York Yiddish daily, charging the existence of fraud in these collections, were declared to be highly exaggerated.

“Ninety percent of these collectors are responsible and upright men, only ten percent may be imposters”, Rabbi Israel Rosenberg declared. Particular anxiety was expressed over the harm which may result to the collections in behalf of the old Yishub institutions, in Palestine. “Even the Zionist Organization was not permitted to obtain supervision of the old Yishub, certainly strangers should not be intrusted with it”, he declared.

No action was taken on this matter, but the desire was expressed to seek cooperation with the commissioner’s committee if the rabbinical body is to be given supervision of the collections for Palestine institutions.

Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, the second oldest Jewish congregation in New York, will celebrate the completion of its Community House at dedication exercises Sunday, May 20, at its newly completed building, 264-274 West 89th Street, New York.

The Community House, which adjoins the rear of the synagogue, is a seven-story structure erected at a cost of $850,000 including the lend and furnishings. The architects are Henry B. Herts, Jr. and Louis B. Abramson, consultant.

The two upper floors are devoted to classirooms for the religions school, including a library. An auditorium seating about 450 persons, a banquet hall seating about 450 persons, a rabbi’s office and study, a sewing room provided with adjoining kitchen facilities, a men’s club room and a gymnasium are features of the new building.

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