Berlin (Apr. 4)
The Conference of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Prussia has decided to join the projected Reichsverband, a Federation of Jewish Communities throughout the German Republic, to be constituted by the appointment of representatives by each of the Jewish Federations in the various States.
The differences between the Zionists and the Liberal majority in the Prussian Federation came again to a head to-day when a resolution introduced by the Zionists to grant a subsidy to the Heholuz, the organisation for training Haluzim for Palestine, was defeated, and it was decided instead to hand over the amount proposed to the Welfare Commission of the Federation. The Zionist representatives refused to give their consent to this decision.
The ###of the All-German Federation of Jewish Communities has been under discussion since 1925. In that year, the Federation of Jewish Communities in Prussia was constituted, and when it held its first Conference in June 1925, the then President of the Berlin Jewish Community, Herr Leo Wolff, said in opening the Conference, that it was the first really representative Conference of the Jews of the country, having been elected by general, direct and secret ballot, and that it would be the foresunner of a union of all the Jews of the German Republic, in a Federation of all the Jewish Communities in Germany.
One of the principal obstacles to the formation of the new all-German body has been the question of whether the new Federation should be constituted by linking up the existing Federations, who would appoint their representatives to the new body, or by fresh country-wide elections.
In February 1929 a draft Constitution of the projected All-German Federation of Jewish Communities, which had been adopted by all the other Federations of Jewish Communities in the various German States was rejected by one vote by the Conference of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Prussia, whose approval would have been the final step to the formal constitution of the All-German Federation. The Zionist and Centre Party representatives in the Prussian Federation, voted against the draft Constitution, because it provided for the constitution of the new Federation by linking together the various existing Federations, each of which would have appointed its representatives on the new body, demanding that the All-German Federation should be constituted by means of fresh elections throughout the Jewish communities of the country. Their main objection to the linking-up scheme, was that the Federations of Jewish Communities in Saxony and Hessen do not give the franchise to East European Jews.
The question of the rights of East European Jews in Germany in the affairs of the Jewish Communities has agitated German Jewry for years. The question became acute again recently when the Prussian Government communicated the text of the new Jewish Communities Draft Law to the Prussian Federation and objections were raised to it by the Zionist members because it denied foreign Jews resident in Germany the right of participating in the Jewish Communal elections and the activities of the Jewish Communities. It has been stated since that the Government has conceded the principle of giving the vote in Jewish Communal affairs to foreign Jews living in Germany and on March 1st. this modified text of the Jewish Communities Law was approved by the Prussian State Council. The bill has still to be passed by the Prussian Parliament.
There have been several clashes previously between the Zionist and the non-Zionist members of the Prussian Federation and the Berlin Jewish Community over questions of subsidies to Zionistic bodies.
Last February, Dr. Klee, the Zionist leader in the Prussian Federation and the Berlin Jewish Community, speaking after the adoption of a decision by the Liberal majority withdrewing the annual subvention of 2,000 Marks. hitherto paid by the Berlin Jewish Community to the Heholuz, threatened that if the Liberal Party in control of the Berlin Jewish Community continued to ignore the wishes of the Zionist representatives they would secede and form a separatist national religious Jewish Community.