United Palestine Appeal Conference Cements Jewish Unity for Palestine Rebuilding
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United Palestine Appeal Conference Cements Jewish Unity for Palestine Rebuilding

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(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

What is hoped to be the last independent Zionist campaign for Palestine funds in the United States, prior to the coming into operation of the extended Jewish Agency, was launched at the third annual Nationalist Conference of the United Palestine Appeal, the fund-raising agency of the Zionist Organization, at a two-day session held at the Hotel Statler here in the presence of 350 delegates.

Deviating from the precedent in previous years, the conference adopted no formal resolution as to the quota to be sought throughout the country for the Palestine Funds combined in the United palestine Appeal, it being understood, however, that Zionists and non-Zionists alike will be urged to contribute a sum approaching as near as possible the $7,500,000 sought in the previous years. The annual results of the United Palestine Appeal effort in the past years ranged between $2,700,000 and $4,000,000.

Felix M. Warburg, banker and philanthropist, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee and of the Committee of Seven recently appointed by Louis Marshall to take the necessary steps for the organization of the Jewish Agency and for the naming of the American non-Zionist representation on the Agency, shared with Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, a tremendous, enthusiastic ovation accorded by the delegates.

Mrs. Warburg and Mrs. Weizmann were given a special ovation as they entered the hall arm in arm.

The “Hatikvah” and “Amerca” were successively sung at the close of the ten-minute cheering and applause when Mr. Warburg and Dr. Weizmann mounted the platform. The cheering was repeated following Mr. Warburg’s address, in which the interest of the deleates centered.

Coming on the heels of the Non-Zionist on Palestine held in New York under the chairmanship of Louis Marhsall, the United Palestine Appeal conferences proceeded in an atmosphere of unanimity and confidence, reference being repeatedly made to the era of a new Jewish unity for the rebuilding of Palestine, which will be reflected in other branches of Jewish work, as the extended Jewish Agency comes on the horizon.

The optimism of the U. P. A. delegates who are responsible for the raising of approximately $10,000,000 during the past three years since the United Palestine Appeal came into existence was elevated to a high pitch when they learned from the addresses of Mr. Warburg and Dr. Weizmann that the “reservations” made by the Zionist General Council at its Berlin session will be no obstacle in the way of the consummation of the Jewish Agency.

An agreement reached Saturday morning at a conference between the Committee of Seven representing the non-Zionists and the representatives of the Zionist Organization on the point of the reservations was indicative of the harmony in which the Zionists and non-Zionists are ready to cooperate in the Jewish Daily Bulletin learns that at an informal meeting held at the home of Mr. Warburg on Saturday morning in the presence of Mr. Marshall, Dr. Julian Morgenstern, Mr. Warburg, David A. Brown, representing the non-Zionists, and Dr. Weizmann, Morris Rothenberg, Louis Lipsky and Julius Simon, representing the Zionist Organization, the two parties to the Jewish Agency pact took up, in accordance with the resolution adopted at the Non-Zionist Conference, the Zionist reservations with regard to the recommendations of the Joint Palestine Survey Commission. After a short discussion, an informal agreement was reached, Although no official statement was issued, it is learned that the agreement concerning the three major points which agitated many Zionists is as follows:

1. The question of the Kvuzoth–the Survey Commission recommended discontinuation of this form of settlement and the Zionist General Council insisted on the freedom of the settlers to determine the form of settlement–is to be left for decision to the Jewish Agency when constituted.

2. Concerning the Jewish National Fund. The Joint Palestine Survey Commission recommended the creation of a special land reserve to be parcelled out to private owners, while the Zionist General Council in its resolution voiced the fear that this may endanger the existence of the Jewish National Fund and its policy of purchasing the land as the national property of the Jewish people and leasing it to the settlers. On this point both parties agreed at the Saturday meeting that the Jewish National Fund is not to be affected.

3. The duration of the Jewish Agency. The Zionist Congress in a resolution adopted on the subject calls for the creation of the Jewish Agency for a three year provisional period. The non-Zionists were unwilling to accept this provision. A substitute formula was agreed upon at the Saturday meeting whereby it is provided that in case of a disagreement between the Zionist and the non-Zionist members of the Jewish Agency when constituted, the status quo ante is to obtain, that is, in case of dissolution of the Jewish Agency, the Zionist Organization will obtain control of the institutions created and again act as the Jewish Agency as it does now, according to the Mandate.

The three sessions were presided over by Morris Rothenberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the United Palestine Appeal on Saturday night; Judge William M. Lewis on Sunday morning and Louis Lipsky at the Sunday afternoon session. A banquet was given in the evening in the presence of 500 delegates and guests in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Warburg and Dr. and Mrs. Weizmann. Judge Lewis acted as toastmaster. Mr. Warburg delivered the principal address, during which he related his reaction to his first Palestine visit. He was again accorded cheers and applause which lasted many minutes. The amount of $50,000 was announced as the first sum raised in the Boston U.P.A. drive. A check for $25,000 was presented at the afternoon session by the Philadelphia delegation, in honor of Judge Lewis’s re-election as National Chairman of the Appeal. A check for $7,000 was forwarded by the Indianapolis United Palestine Appeal Committee, a telegram read at the conference announced.

Dr. Weizmann and the other speakers urged Zionists throughout the country not to relax their efforts in behalf of the United Palestine Appeal, predicting that this year the campaign will result in larger receipts due to the expected participation of Zionists and non-Zionists alike.

The conference was welcomed on be half of the Boston community by Elihu D. Stone and Charles Rome. The speakers at the various sessions were I. D. Morrison, New York, Chairman of the Finance Committee Abraham Liebowitz, Treasurer of the U.P.A.; Judge William M. Lewish, Morris Rothenberg, Dr. I. M. Rubinow, Louis Lipsky, Gedaliah Bublick on behalf of the Mizrachi Zionist Organization. Mr. Rudensky on behalf of the Jewish National Fund, and Abraham Goldberg.

Mrs. Zip Szold, acting President of the Hadassah, Women’s Zionist Organization, in her address declared that her presence at the conference indicated that the Hadassah had decided to enter the U.P.A. whole-beartedly and that the members of the women’s organization will cooperate in every possible way for making the United Palestine Appeal drive a complete success.

The principal address of the first session was delivered by Mr. Morris Rothenberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the United Palestine Appeal, who pointed out that as a result of the unity that has been achieved among American Jews, a larger building program than ever would be possible for Palestine during the next year and the years following.

Declaring that those Jews who give to Palestine do so a constructive and not as a relief measure, Mr. Rothenberg said: “Experience has shown that while in fund-raising for general relief, the Impulse to give is stimulated by the extent of the need, a different psychology applies in fund raising for Palestine. What primarily stirs the imagination of Jews in connection with Palestine is not the instinet of relief, however, important that it may be. but the thought that in contributing for Palestine they are playing a part in renewing and developing the creative forces of the Jewish spirit.”

Abraham Licbowitz reported that during the past year the United Palestine Appeal netted an income of $2,740,523, being about $500,000 less than the income of the preceding year. This was due to two causes, he stated: first to the depression which prevailed in certain parts of the country and in industries in which U. P. A. contributors were concerned and secondly, to the controversy between the opposition and the administration at the end of last year.

I. D. Morrison reported extensively on the work of the Finance Committee and declared that it has succeeded during the past year in reducing the expenditures by $212,000. The U.P.A. has an expenditure of about twenty-five per cent of its total collections, which is due to the fact that the combined fund raising agency, unlike other national organizations, includes in its account all expense items incurred by the local committees. Were the expense of the national office alone to be reported, it would amount to less than five per cent. In the present sum, every cent expended for printing, postage, etc., is accounted for. A financial report was also submitted by Bernard Stone, national secretary of the United Palestine Appeal.

The affairs of the American Zion Commonwealth, which constituted in many respects a stumbling block for the United Palestine Appeal drives, will soon be stabilized and American holders of Palestine land acquired through the Commonwealth will soon receive their deeds, due to an arrangement completed, Louis Lipsky, president of the Zionist Organization of America, announced, According to Mr. Lipsky, a group of American Zionists has put at the disposal of the New York Committee the amount of $250,000 as a credit for the Commonwealth to liquidate its liabilities and to pave the way for its rehabilitation.

A lengthy discussion developed on a proposal made by Rabbi Max D. Klein of Philadelphia, chairman of the Resolutions Committee, that the Board of Directors of the U.P.A. be asked to consider for action the demand of the American Jewish Legionnaires who served in Palestine during the war for including in this year’s U.P.A. an initial fund of $100,000 to start a colony for a number of American Jewish legionnaires now in Palestine. It was argued that the Zionist public has not fulfulled its debt to the legionnaires who volunteered to fight for the liberation of Palestine. It appeared, however, that because of committments already entered into by the United Palestine Appeal, the matter presented many difficulties. The conference voted to refer the question to the National Board.

Judge William M. Lewis of Philadelphia was re-elected National Chairman, Morris Rothenberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Abraham Liebowitz, treasurer. The office of honorary chairman, held previously by Dr. Stephen S. Wise, was not listed in the elections.

As vice-chairmen, the following were elected: Louis Lipsky, Mrs. Zip Szold, Gedaliah Bublick, Dr. J. Kalisky and a representative of the Jewish National Fund to be named. No special finance committee was chosen, it being understood that the Exccutive Committee of 17 will transact the business. A board of Directors of sixty representatives from all parts of the country was elected. Among the honorary vice-chairmen the following were chosen: Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver of Cleveland: Rabbi B. L. Levinthal Philadelphia; Reuben Brainin, New York; Rabbi Ashinsky, Detroit; Rabbi Solomon Goldman and Rabbi Barnet Brickner, Cleveland.

Some discussion developed concerning the composition of the Executive Committee. The resolution proposed that the committee consists of fifteen members. J. Hamlin, representing the Poale Zion party, moved that the number be increased to seventeen and proposed B. Zuckerman and Dr. Chaim Arlaseroff as his party’s candidates to fill the two extra posts. Some of the delegates opposed the resolution, which was, however, carried by a majority of 74 to 56.

The most important of the resolutions adopted was the one concerning the Jewish Agency. It read as follows: “We, the delegates to the National Conference on Palestine, held under the auspices of the United Palestine Appeal in Boston on November 11, 1928, hail with rejoicing the recently consummated union in Israel for the upbuilding of the Jewish National Home in Palestine. We pledge ourselves wholeheartedly to the high purpose and objects of the Jewish Agency and we warmly felicitate the Joint Palestine Survey Commissioners for their splendid work in making an exhaustive study of every aspect of the upbuilding work in Palesaine, and we extend to them our appreciation for the findings that resulted from their survey.

“We express our gratitude to those great leaders in Jewry, Chaim Weizmann, Louis Marshall and Felix Warburg, for the part they took in uniting American Jewry for the common task of restoring Palestine. We congratulate them on the happy culmination of their devoted and unstinting labors toward this goal.”

At the motion of Bernard Shelvin. seconded by former Congressman Nathan D. Periman, it was decided that the U. P. A. subscription cards now giving the contributor the option of subscribing to the “New Palestine”, be changed to allow them the choice of the “Yiddishe Folk,” Yiddish weekly, published by the Zionist Organization, or the “New Palestine.”

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