It is not too great a task for the Zionists of New York to enroll 20,000 new members during the coming year, leaders of the New York Zionist Region, at a conference at the Hotel Astor on Wednesday evening, were told by United States Attorney George Z. Medalie, Republican Senatorial nominee, who was Chairman of the Membership Committee of the New York Zionist Region last year. Mr. Medalie’s appearance at the meeting was the signal for several prolonged ovations because of the honor done him by the Republican Party.
The principal speech of the evening, at the conference which was called for the purpose of launching the 1932-33 Zionist membership drive in Greater New York, was delivered by Morris Rothenberg, President of the Zionist Organization of America, who emphasized the necessity for a strong Zionist Organization if Jewish aims in Palestine are to be achieved at a quickened pace.
He reviewed the work done in Palestine during the past ten years and the activities of the Zionist Organization to accelerate the upbuilding of the country. The importance of a numerically powerful and vocal Zionist Organization was best demonstrated in the years following 1929, Mr. Rothenberg said, pointing out that in 1929 the entire Zionist horizon looked dark. It was due to pressure of co-ordinated, purposeful action that the situation has now considerably changed for the better. Had there been no Zionist Organization to press for Jewish rights in Palestine, the prospect for the Jewish National Home would not have improved, he said. For that reason it is essential that American Jewry co-operate full-heartedly in the effort now being made to strengthen the Zionist Organization of America, so that it may become an effective instrument for safeguarding Jewish interests in Palestine.
The conference was opened by Carl Sherman, Chairman of the Region, who introduced Morris Margulies, Secretary of the Administrative Committee of the Zionist Organization. Mr. Margulies presented the plan of a membership campaign which was unanimously adopted by the conference, comprising officers of the Region and the Executive Committees of every Zionist district in Greater New York. The campaign is to be inaugurated immediately and will be on the basis of units, the largest being Manhattan, Bronx and two in Brooklyn.
It was during the discussion on Mr. Margulies’ membership report that Mr. Medalie echoed his support of an intensive enrollment program. He expressed regret that the Zionist membership in New York was not as strong numerically as the needs in Palestine and the importance of the Organization demanded. Calling upon the district leaders to make a maximum effort to add strength to the Organization, Mr. Medalie declared that it should not be too difficult to obtain 20,000 members for the Zionist Organization in New York, if New York Jewry were properly approached with regard to the vital necessity of an increased Organization.