Rabbis Hear Demand for Industry Control
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Rabbis Hear Demand for Industry Control

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sures formulated by the conference’s commission on social justice.

The convention went on record for more aggressive attempts before legislatures to get action on bills for old age pensions, unemployment insurance, restriction of child labor and other social legislation.

Officials of the federal government were urged to put into effect constitutional machinery that would facilitate the spread of social measures among the states.

Extermination of sweatshop conditions brought about by unscrupulous employers was demanded, and such employers, particularly those that were Jewish, were denounced for breaking down labor standards and practicing “exploitation of the vilest sort.”

Anti-Semitism has grown rapidly in the center of the Eastern textile industries where Jews may be owners of some of the sweatshop plants, the commission declared.

The report was submitted before the convention by Rabbi Edward L Israel, of Baltimore.

President Roosevelt was praised by Rabbi Israel for his leadership in the field of economic planning, but the commission in its report urged that the final responsibility for such planning be reposed with the government, not with trade associations.

Legislation for effective management of production and distribution was recommended, as well as definite labor representation in the control of industry and a proper social control of our present profit system. This phase of the commission’s report was given to the resolutions committee for reshaping.


The conference called for abolition of injustices toward the Negro, especially as shown in the Scottsboro trial. It also voted for the appointment of a committee to investigate the rift that has occurred between Congregation Beth-Or, of Montgomery, Ala, and its rabbi over the latter’s outspoken reference to the Scottsboro case. The inquiry, requested by the congregation, was ordered “out of fairness to the congregation and a deep zeal for the freedom of the rabbinate.”

The conference appealed to congregations of all faiths to “support their leaders in activities on behalf of a persecuted race.”

“The Jewish pulpit must not be made an echo for the comfortable prejudices and conventional bigotries of the day,” the conference declared. It pointed out, however, that no matter how forward looking the rabbi may be, the laity often fails to understand his approach to social problems. The conference therefore authorized the publication of pamphlets detailing the ethical background of its program of social justice.

The committee criticized the attitude of “Yiddishists” in introducing Yiddish in the curriculum of schools located in thickly-populated Jewish areas, but the conference as a whole refused to condemn such action on the ground that classes in Yiddish as a tongue did not interfere with the principle of separation of church and state.

The committee also pointed with alarm to the activities of American Nazis in circularizing Louisiana with copies of the “Elders of Zion” and to apparent attempts in Minnesota to institute a numerus clausus sysfor keeping down the number of Jewish teachers in the schools.

Introduction of Chanukah programs in Minneapolis schools where attendance of Jewish pupils is heavy was opposed.

Resistance against budget cuts for congregational religious schools was voted by the conference.

Wherever else economies may be effected, educational efforts “must not be minimized,” the conference agreed, in adopting reports of the committee on religious education, read by Rabbi Abraham J. Feldman, of Hartford, Conn.

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