Menu JTA Search

News Brief

thenberg in the New York Supreme Court.

Having played an outstanding role in the effort to establish the Palestine Foundation Fund in the United States in 1921, Mr. Rothenberg has since held the leadership in fund-raising efforts for Palestine. It is estimated that some $20,000,000 were obtained from American Jews under his supervision for the rebuilding of the Jewish Homeland. Mr. Rothenberg is also regarded as having been largely responsible for the support given by American non-Zionists to the plan formulated by Dr. Chaim Weizmann and the late Louis Marshall to join Zionists and non-Zionists in the Jewish Agency for Palestine. Mr. Rothenberg was the American aide of Dr. Weizmann, then the World Zionist President.

Mr. Rothenberg was one of the small group which organized the Joint Distribution Committee in War days and has been a leader in its fund-raising efforts for the relief of Eastern European Jewry. He is also identified with the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress and the Jewish Welfare Board.

“To Zionism,” Mr. Straus said, “Morris Rothenberg has given the richest fruits of his personality. Because the national ideal embraces all of Jewish life and points the way to the solution of the Jewish problem, Rothenberg has recognized that within Zionism the Jew can attain his fullest powers as an individual and as a member of a collective group. It is true that for more than ten years he bore the brunt of fund-raising responsibilities for Palestine. It is true that under his leadership American Jewry responded fullheartedly to the tasks which called them in Palestine. But Mr. Rothenberg’s greatest service to Palestine lies in his winning over an increasing portion of American Jewry to the idea and the content of Palestine rebuilding. He has been a propagandist in the deepest meaning of the term. Fund-raising efforts, of the Keren Hayesod or the enlarged Jewish Agency, were important to him just as much for acquainting the people with Palestine as for the amounts they brought in. He prided himself that this so-called prosaic collection machine was able to bring to this country from abroad one after another of the outstanding intellectual leaders of Jewry, so that the ferment of their minds might leaven the ideological substance of the Jewish people here.

“The leadership which Rothenberg has provided in the Zionist movement and in other Jewish enterprises has penetrated into the communal consciousness by a gradual process. It is now being recognized, on an ever wider scale, that the stability of his mind and the rationality of his action are qualities essential to insure the equilibrium of Jewish life. He is the symbol of wise serenity in the face of unnerving haste. It is to men like Morris Rothenberg that the Jews of America must look for the sane, constructive leadership that is to guide them out of clamor and confusion.”

The formal installation exercises for Rabbi Philip Lipis of Congregation Emanu-El, Philadelphia, will take place today in the Synagogue Auditorium.

NEXT STORY