Cincinnati (Feb. 3)
Progress in all its activities was reported and a determination to carry on was expressed at the annual meeting of the Executive Committee of B’nai Brith held here.
Alfred M. Cohen, President of the Order, summed up the Jewish world situation and the achievements of B’nai Brith during 1932, and pointed out the larger problems facing the organization during the coming year.
Mr. Cohen, speaking of the German situation, said, “Were it not a grim fact, it would seem impossible that intellectually enlighteried Germany had so far lost its sense of justice as to have well nigh accepted the leadership of Hitler, who is hell-bent on destroying a section of Germany’s population, distinguished alike in the past and at present for its contributions to the best the world has produced in science, literature, music, and other arts. Hitler, if sane, cannot believe that the Jew is what he depicts him to be. I have kept in constant contact with Dr. Leo Baeck of our Executive Committee in Berlin, and assured him that we were at his command to do anything within our ability that would help.”
While deploring Jewish conditions in parts of Europe and in other lands across the seas, Mr. Cohen reported that the Jews of America enjoy a “happy situation” by contrast.
“There are some clouds on the horizon of American Jewish life in the field of economic and social relations. Evidences of anti-Jewish feeling in the press, on the stage and screen are diminishing. On the other hand, economic discrimination is not diminishing and justly occupies a prominent place in our thoughts and discussions,” Mr. Cohen said. “Undoubtedly the very distressing level of present employment conditions is responsible for this unfariness which grows as unemployment increases. In the final analysis, both defamation and discrimination are nothing else than manifestations of lack of good will and correct understanding among the various religious, cultural, and national elements which together constitute the American people.”
The report of Dr. I. M. Rubinow, Secretary of the Order, showed that the organization’s budget is safely balanced, and that with appropriations cut to the bone, the B’nai Brith is able to prosecute its world-wide activities as thoroughly as before. Richard E. Gutstadt, Director of Membership and Special Activities, pointed out that during 1932 several new lodges were formed and defunct ones reorganized throughout this country and in other countries.
Sigfund Livingston, of Chicago, chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, reported scores of cases settled satisfactorily.
Sidney G. Kusworm, of Dayton, O., reported that the Order’s Americanization Committee, of which he is chairman, had progressed markedly in the work of citizenizing aliens from one end of the country to the other during 1932. The membership of the Aleph Zadik Aleph was greater on January 1, 1933, than a year before, according to Sam Beber, of Omaha, president of the Supreme Advisory Council. Maurice D. Rosenberg, B’nai Brith’s Washington representative, reported on many cases handled for the Order at the nation’s capital.