Bucharest (Feb. 5)
The Roumanian Government does not intend to take into consideration the decisions of a special congress of the Jewish communities before drafting the statutes governing the application of the Jewish Community Law, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learns. Only individual consultation with the Jewish Parliamentary Club and the representatives of a few of the larger communities will take place.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency has received from Jacob Rosenthal, Technical Counsellor to the Roumanian Legation in Washington, the following statement:
“Several newspapers have published, on January 16. 1930, a cablegram from Vienna, quoted as from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, stating that the Roumanian Government, disregarding its promise to consult the Jewish organizations before framing the statutes in connection with the cult law passed last summer by the Roumanian Parliament, has instructed the Minister of Cults to draw up the mentioned statutes and enforce the law without further consulting the various Jewish religious organizations.
“The Roumanian Legation, requesting information, received a cable from the Government emphatically denying this rumor, stating that no measure whatsoever had been taken by it with regard to drawing up the statutes in connection with the mentioned law.”
The Roumanian Legation quotes incorrectly, on an important point, the report of the Jewish Telegraphic
Agency published in the Jewish Daily Bulletin on January 17. It was pointed out in this report that the Roumanian Government does not intend to take into consideration “the decisions of a special congress of the Jewish communities before drafting the final statutes governing the application of the law” despite the statement issued to this effect by Mr. J. Rosenthal, Counsellor of the Roumanian Legation in Washington, on August 6, 1929.
The cablegram received today by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency confirms this report. The denial issued by the Roumanian Legation ignores this point by referring to the promise of the government “to consult the Jewish organizations before framing the statutes,” without referring to the question of whether this will be done by taking into consideration the decisions of a congress of the Jewish communities. The promise of the Roumanian Government to consult the Jewish organizations would, in fact, not be required, as the law as promulgated on July 31, 1929, stipulates that “in the framing of the statutes the advice of the representatives of the Jewish communities organized as provided for by the Ministerial Decision of January, 1929, shall be taken.” The statement issued by the Roumanian Legation on August 6 specified that this consultation will take the form of taking into consideration the decisions of a congress of the Jewish communities.
The Jewish press and Jewish leaders in Roumania have repeatedly and emphatically pointed to the fact that consultation, in order to be effective, should take the form only of taking into consideration the decisions of a congress of Kehillahs. On November 10, the “Courrier Israelite” wrote:
“The consultation of the representatives of the Jewish Cult can only be done in a congress of delegates elected by the population, or else again in a Commission with delegates elected by the organizations existing and assembled in order to take decisions. A consultation does not deserve such name unless it is a consultation collective or collective consultation.
“It is only a collective consultation that can give as a result a bill that will satisfy all the interests.
“To consult each Committee by itself would have the same effect as each community is not in a position to know the objects being pursued by the laws and the general interests.
“A community may see through the prism of its own petty interests, whereas the assembly of all the representatives of local interests makes it possible through the clashing of all these interests for a favorable middle line to arise for all without doing harm to any one.
“If instead of being a question of the Jewish cult it would have been a case of orthodox Christian cult, would the Minister of Cults have thus interpleted the law along the line of soliciting the opinion of each church or of each priest? No. The Minister would doubtless have called for an assembly in which the qualified representatives of this cult would have been called together to give their opinion.”
About two months ago, Carol Davila, Roumanian Minister to Washington, stated to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he would make inquiries with his Government whether indeed a congress of the Jewish communities would be called. This promise was repeated by Mr. Davila when meeting Dr. Cyrus Adler, president of the American Jewish Committee, and David M. Bressler, member of the Executive of the Committee.
In reply to a letter addressed on January 7 by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Roumanian Legation answered on January 21 that the Legation had telegraphed to Bucharest but so far no reply has been received.