Dr. Cyrus Adler’s Statement in Opposition to Jewish World Congress Idea: a Welter of Talk is Far Fro
Menu JTA Search

Dr. Cyrus Adler’s Statement in Opposition to Jewish World Congress Idea: a Welter of Talk is Far Fro

Download PDF for this date

I realise, Dr. Cyrus Adler, the President of the American Jewish Committee, says in his statement condemning the idea of convoking a Jewish World Congress (given briefly by cable in the J.T.A. Bulletin of the 18th. inst.), that the Jews of this country are desirous of unity of action and I have time and again striven for it. I have time and again been silent when I should have spoken, hoping by silence to prevent at least public appearance of disunion. But it appears to me to be necessary now to make the position of the Committee clear.

It would seem from the press releases issued by the American Jewish Congress, Dr. Adler went on, that the millions of Jews of Germany, Poland, Roumania and Hungary are perfectly helpless and unintelligent people without the legal right or capacity capacity to protect themselves, and that no occasion must be omitted for the American Jewish Congress to protest and denounce and demonstrate. These great populations are organised into many splendid national and local communities with capable and distinguished leaders, many of whom hold important posts in the legislative and administrative service of their respective countries. It is common know ledge that nearly all of the responsible Jewish organisations of these countries either ignored or declined the call for the World Conference held in Pasle in 1931. This was true also of the leading organisations in France and England.


We were informed by the President of the American Jewish Congress at the meeting on June 2nd. that the Comite des Delegations Juives was represented in the Basle meeting and is associated with the American Jewish Congress in its efforts to hold the proposed meeting this summer. The Comite des delegations Juives is little more than a game. It is a paper association presided over by one or more gentlemen who before the War had lived in Russia or Poland, but since then as emigres are suffering only the hardships of Paris. They have probably known much less of the conditions in Eastern Europe than do the members of the American Jewish Committee, some of whom have spent much time there since the War.

The American Jewish Committee is opposed to the calling of any Jewish World Congress, or any preliminary conference paving the way for one. We would regard such a Congress as a sensational blunder-perhaps one of the most colossal mistakes in the history of the Jewish people. No helpful action can possibly result from it. For a congress of persons from many parts of the world to discuss the peculiar economic, political and social conditions affecting the Jews in various countries would be to furnish a spectacle that would be ludicrous and possibly tragic.

There would be no new information to be gained, no new ideas to be suggested, no new action to be planned. There would be nothing but speeches, and many of them no doubt by irresponsible persons. The enemies of the Jews in every country and especially in Germany would seize upon the Congress as an alleged justification of their charges. The question is not whether such a result should occur, but whether it is likely to occur.

The Jews of Europe, and especially of Germany, want no such Congress. And as against the dire consequences that might ensue, we again stress the fact that no one has pointed out or can point out a single possible hope of any good that could result or any advantage that could be gained by the Jews anywhere by the passing at such a Congress of platitudinous resolutions. A welter of talk is far from the kind of co-operation and assistance that the Jews of Germany and Eastern Europe need.

I had truly and sincerely hoped that in the conditions of the affairs of the Jews of the world it would have been possible for Jews everywhere to stand together, Dr. Adler concluded, but the attack upon the American Jewish Committee which was made by Dr. #ise makes it plain to me that united effort between the Congress and the Committee is not possible.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund