Tribute was paid to Morris Rothenberg. Acting President of the Zionist Organization of America, on the occasion of his leaving for the World Zionist Congress at Zurich Monday night on the Berengaria at a luncheon tendered to him by the Administrative Committee of the Zionist Organization of America Friday noon at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, at which Mr. Jacob Fishman, Managing Editor of the Jewish Morning Journal, acted as Toastmaster.
At the luncheon Mr. Rothenberg, who has been designated by the World Zionist Executive to conduct negotiations on behalf of the Jewish Agency, announced that all outstanding differences had been disposed of in the final constitution of the Jewish Agency, that has been drawn up between the Zionist and non-Zionist Committees in America. He pointed out, however, that this constitution must be acted upon by the Actions Committee of the World Zionist Organization and the World Zionist Congress itself. He expressed the hope, however, that the constitution as at present drawn up, would be adopted, inasmuch as he feels that all Zionist principles have been adequately safeguarded, and inasmuch as it meets with the approval of the non-Zionist partner to the Jewish Agency.
A number of messages from outstanding American Jews, in tribute to Mr. Rotherenberg were read at the luncheon. One of these was from Felix M. Warburg, in which he praised Mr. Rotherenberg’s sound judgment and readiness to serve in every good Jewish cause. His telegram read in part:
“I have had opportunity to frequently admire his sound calm judgment and his readiness at all times to serve any good cause regardless of the sacrifice it would entail. In the negotiations which had to take place between the non-Zionists and Zionists nobody has been as useful as he. His tact and sagacity and more than anything else his great fairness has made him respected and admired by all of us even in the most difficult circumstances.”
Another message was received from Louis Marshall, who was unable to leave Saranac Lake, where he is vacationing, to attend the luncheon. Declaring that “there is no man for whom I have a higher regard than Morris Rothenberg,” Mr. Marshall characterized the Acting President of the Zionist Organization of America as one whose “sweet reasonableness” has given him a high standing in the Jewish community, and won for him the admiration and regard of all American Jewish leaders. In his message Mr. Marshall said:
“He has the rare faculty of recognizing that every question has two sides and although he never sacrifices a principle to which he is attached: he respects the views of those who honestly differ from those entertained by him. Moreover, he never forgets to be a gentleman. He cannot, for he is to the manner born.
“His actions are never hasty and are always founded upon conscientious convictions. He knows what it means to sacrifice himself to a cause, but after all nothing can be accomplished that is worth while without forgetting the element of self. One who devotes himself to the attainment of an ideal must disregard hope of any regard save that of a satisfied conscience. I know of nobody who better exemplifies this thought than does our friend, Morris Rothenberg.”
Other messages were read from Nathan Straus, I. D. Morrison and Dr. Israel Goldstein.
Among those at the luncheon who paid tribute to Mr. Rothenberg for his services to Zionism and to all Jewish causes, were Judge Bernard A. Rosenblatt, Baruch Zuckerman, Mrs. Archibald Silverman, Dr. I. M. Rubinow. Meyer W. Weisgal, and Abraham Goldberg.
In expressing thanks for the expression of friendship which had been tendered to him in the form of the luncheon, Mr. Rothenberg declared that Zionism had given his life that content which no other cause or ideal could do. In discussing the future of the Zionist movement, particularly as a result of the formation of the extended Jewish Agency, Mr. Rothenberg declared that he is not afraid for the future of the Zionist movement, both because of the high idealism of the Zionist workers, and because of that willingness to cooperate and understand and sympathize which have been exhibited by the non-Zionist leaders during the course of the Jewish Agency negotiations.
He declared that in discussing the problems that would come up before the Jewish Agency when it is constituted, both the Zionists and non-Zionists would analyze the problems presented to that body, as Jews, and not as holding any particular pre-views. In speaking of the various men who have participated in the negotiations leading up to the Jewish Agency, Mr. Rothenberg paid high praise to Mr. Marshall for his keen insight into the problems of Palestine, and for his deep sympathy with the rights and needs of the Jewish resettlement of the homeland.
During the course of the luncheon a
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cablegram was received from Louis Lipsky, President of the Zionist Organization of America, who is now in Switzerland, which was addressed to Mr. Rothenberg and read as follows:
“Congratulations your splendid handling convention. Deeply appreciative your Zionist devotion and personal friendship. Wish you Godspeed.”
MANY SAIL FOR ZURICH
A farewell luncheon to Abraham Goldberg, president of the Histadruth Ivrith was held Thursday under the auspices of that organization. Zionist leaders and Hebrew writers were present.
Dr. Abba Hillel Silver of Cleveland will sail on July 16 on the Berengaria to attend the Zionist Congress at Zurich.
Dr. Silver is a member of the Actions Committee of the World Zionist Organization, American representative of the Jewish National Fund and vice-president of the Zionist Organization of America.