Cincinnati (Jul. 10)
“The convention inaugurates a new era in the history of American Zionism. It represents the healing of old wounds, the closing of ranks. American Zionism stands united before the world. Out of this renewed union should spring consequences of hope and importance for Palestine and its cause.”
This is the observation of Rabbi James G. Heller of Cincinnati, former chairman of the Administrative Committee of the Zionist Organization of America, who played an outstanding part at the Cleveland convention, in an article which will appear in the July 11th issue of “The American Israelite.” With regard to the Administration that was elected, Rabbi Heller says:
“It is frankly a new administration, under the aegis of Judge Mack, and we hope of Justice Brandeis also, but it is also a coalition of forces. It was not the most generous of proposals and there were some things about it that were, in the opinion of the writer, ill-advised and short-sighted. But it was the best that could be done.
“The Administrative Committee, with a truly noble spirit of abnegation and of dedication to the cause, accepted it unanimously. It expressed its willingness to give the Brandeis-Mack group a chance to run affairs and itself not merely to abstain from sabotage, but actively to aid it.”
The colorful scenes enacted at the convention are described by Rabbi Heller in the following words:
“If I were to select one picture which was the clearest and best, it would be the scene which followed the end of the last session on Tuesday evening. The meeting adjourned. ‘Hatikvah’ had been sung. Many of the delegates rush to the corner of the room, and young and old, men and women, arms entwined about their fellows’ shoulders, trod the round-dances of the Halutzim.
“Singing, shouting, with joy beaming on their faces, they danced. Recruits came momentarily. Spectators leaped upon chairs and tables, and watched in dense crowds from every direction. And all sangâ€”songs of Zion.
“Here was something that is unique among Jewsâ€”real freedom, inner freedom, release of pent-up emotions, joy welling up out of the heart, and finding that child-like expression which is so near to the spirit of a people.”