The outstanding figures in the Palestine movement in America have affixed their signatures to an invitation to Jewish leaders in all parts of the country to gather at the Hotel Astor, New York, on January 15th, for the National Conference on Palestine called by the Jewish Agency to consider the status of reconstruction activities in the Jewish homeland.
Those who have issued the invitation include Dr. Cyrus Adler, President of the American Jewish Committee ; Harry L. Glucksman, Executive Director of the Jewish Welfare Board ; Herbert H. Lehman, Governor-elect of New York, one of the honorary chairmen of the American Palestine Campaign ; Wililam M. Lewis, Vice-President of the Zionist Organization of America ; Abraham Liebovitz, Associate Treasurer of the American Palestine Campaign ; Louis Lipsky, National Chairman of the American Palestine Campaign ; Solomon Lowenstein, Treasurer of the American Palestine Campaign ; Julian W. Mack, Judge of the United States Circuit Court ; James Marshall, one of the Chairmen of the American Palestine Campaign ; Morris Rothenberg, President of the Zionist Organization of America ; Abba Hillel Silver, Rabbi of The Temple, Cleveland, and one of the Campaign Chairmen ; Nathan Straus, Jr., Chairman of the Campaign in Greater New York ; Felix M. Warburg and Stephen S. Wise, Honorary Chairmen of the American Palestine Campaign. Others who join in the invitation are the American members and deputy members of the Council of the Jewish Agency for Palestine.
Guided by the experience of the past few years, the Executive Committee of the American Palestine Campaign has been considering a revision of the fund-raising methods in use previously, with a view to greater effectiveness in reaching every Jewish community in the country. It is planned that during the next few weeks, the opinion of leaders in all parts of the United States will be sought, so that a representative and comprehensive plan of procedure may be adopted.
The first task of the new year, it is said, will be to infuse a greater sense of responsibility into local leaders, both in New York City and throughout the country. Instead of thrusting the entire burden upon several individuals, it is planned that a far greater number be entrusted with the leadership.
In a number of communities, urgent pleas for the launching of Jewish Agency fund-raising campaigns are being met with the assertion that such drives seem strange if the reports are true of the economic progress in Palestine. One of the greatest tasks of the National Conference on January 15th will be to draw up a clear statement of the relationship between the projects of the Jewish Agency and the general economic structure of Palestine.
Another item on the agenda that will confront the national leaders who will assemble in New York on January 15th is the determination of the constituent bodies in the American Palestine Campaign. The three participating agencies at the present time are the Keren Hayesod, the Keren Kayemeth and the Hadassah.
It is expected that many of the delegates to the National Conference will bring with them invitations for Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who is expected in the United States early in 1933. It is distinctly understood, however, that his visit, which will probably be a brief one, is not undertaken as part of a fund-raising tour. The Conference may, however, decide to utilize the distinguished leader’s presence in this country for the purpose of strengthening the Jewish Agency and also aiding the American Palestine Campaign.