PHILADELPHIA (Jul. 1)
The thirty-fifth annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America opens here this morning at the Hotel Benjamin Franklin with the participation of several hundred delegates from many parts of the country.
Unlike former years, the west and the southwest, have sent their own delegates to participate in the deliberations of the convention which is scheduled to conclude on the evening of July 4th.
The convention is expected to be the setting for a contest for the chairmanship of the Administration of the Zionist Organization of America, of which Robert Szold is the present incumbent.
The battle will be between the Lipsky group and the co-called Brandeis-Mack group, at present in power in the Zionist Administration, it is believed.
The differences between the two groups reached their climax in 1930 when Louis Lipsky was retired as president of the Zionist Organization of America, of which he had been the head for nine years.
The differences had accumulated over a period of nine years, since the 1921 convention in Cleveland, where the split in the organization occurred and the Brandeis group left.
In 1930 the Brandeis-Mack group was returned to power, following a bitter fight, in an effort to bring harmony into the Zionist ranks. At that time a committee of 18 was elected to serve as the administration of the organization, 12 of whom were members of the Brandeis-Mack group. Robert Szold was elected chairman by the Committee.
At the 1931 conclave Mr. Szold was elected chairman of the Administration by the convention. The office of president was abolished from the constitution of the Zionist organization.
The convention sessions will be formally opened this morning by Rabbi Max D. Klein, chairman of the Philadelphia Zionist district, who will welcome the delegates in behalf of the local Jewish community.
Rabbi Klein will be followed by Mayor J. Hampton Moore, who will welcome the convention in behalf of the city.
Following these preliminaries, Robert Szold will review the activities of the Organization since the last Convention. Another speaker at the morning session will be Emanuel Neumann, recently returned from Palestine, who will present greetings in behalf of the Executive of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency.
The Committee on Plan and Scope, of which Abraham Goldberg is Chairman, will present its report at the afternoon session. The Committee for some time has been engaged chiefly in a study of two questions, – that of relationship of the Zionist Organization of America and affiliated bodies, and of the functions and scope of the Organization itself. The Committee went to work on this latter question, following a summons by Mr. Szold that inquiry be undertaken to determine whether the scope and functions of the Z. O. A. should be redefined, in view of the fact that many of the activities, formerly conducted by the Z. O. A. are now more or less detached.
The matter of dues is another to claim serious consideration. The Administrative Committee at a recent meeting decided by a small margin to recommend to the Convention that the present $6.00 membership be replaced by a dual system of $6.00 and $2.00 members. It was held by some that with the present business conditions, many who would otherwise become members are not doing so under the $6.00 rate. It was argued against the change, however, that it would involve the Organization in great danger, being in the nature of an invitation to all the $6.00 members to replace into $2.00 members, and so cutting down the present small revenue of the Organization as to completely cripple it.
The Monday afternoon session will be devoted principally to the report of the American Palestine Campaign of which Louis Lipsky is Chairman; also a report of the American Economic Committee for Palestine.
The closing session will consider the reports of various committees and elect officers for the ensuing year.