More than 1,500 delegates representing that number of communal, fraternal and religious organizations, meeting yesterday at an emergency conference held at the Hotel Pennsylvania, pledged support to the drive to raise $2,000,000 in connection with the National Emergency Campaign for the Settlement of German Jewish Refugees in Palestine.
The conference which was held under the auspices of the Council of Jewish organizations, voted to launch a special drive for $40,000. The money will be used to find homes in Palestine for 500 refugee children.
Speakers who included Nathan Straus Jr., chairman of the Greater New York Division of the Emergency Campaign for the Settlement of German Jews in Palestine; George Z. Medalie, honorary president of the Council; Magistrate Jonah J. Goldstein, president of the Jewish Club; Herman Bernstein, editor of the Jewish Daily Bulletin and other distinguished leaders of American Jewry, aired their heated protest against the German troubled, against the immigration restrictions in the Holy Land and sounded a plea for aid.
This aid, they insisted, must come both from Jews and non-Jews alike for all are concerned in the political situation in Nazi Germany which resulted in the expulsion of thousands.
A highlight of the conference was the adoption by acclaim of four resolutions in substance as follows
(1) That the name of the organization be changed and called the Council of Jewish Organizations of the Greater New York Emergency Campaign for the Settlement of Ger- man Jews in Palestine and for the Keren Hayesod.
(2)That 500 refugee children be supported in Palestine at the cost of $80 per person per year.
(3)That Dr. Chaim Weizmann, head of the Central Bureau for the Settlement of German Jewish Refugees in Palestine, be given “whole-hearted support and our sincerest cooperation” during his forthcoming visit to the United States.
(4)That the organization devote one day each year on its calendar to “Palestine Day” for the purpose of circularizing information on the industrial development of Palestine and that a per capita tax be levied on the membership for building up Palestine.
In his addiress Mr. Straus spoke of the “wholesale persecution of the Jews of Germany” as having created a crisis in Jewish life which must be met, he insisted, by “concerted action on all fronts.”
Mr. Medalie discussed the plight of the refugee children. He said that plans for their rescue are being formulated and that once established in the Holy Land their training will be educational and eventuate a “new and happier life for them.”
Mr. Medalie referred to Palestine as “the burning reality in Jewish life.” The small country on the shores of the Mediterranean “has become a most vital factor in world Jewish problems,” and he assailed the “ironic fate” of German Jews who made contributions to the intellectual “wealth” of the nation. He deplored the fact that they are called inferior by “a virtually insensible people.”
Mr. Bernstein devoted his address to a plea he directed at the British government which he petitioned to “open the doors of Palestine to admit the German refugees.”
Mr. Bernstein declared that Britain’s delay in fulfilling the Balfour Declaration “has unfortunately seved as an encouragement to the mercenary and super-Chauvinistic agitators and firebrands among the Arabs who have led the masses to believe that England had never intended to make good her promise to the Jewish people.
Jacob Fishman, editor of the Jewish Morning Journal, and president of the Council of Jewish Organizations on Palestine, who acted as chairman of the conference, declared that the Jews of the United States must respond to the need for assistance in the same measure that it has done in the past when Jews in Europe were made the victims of oppression.
The situation of the Jews in Germany under the Hitler regime was described in detail by Dr. S. Margoshes, editor of The Day, who returned from Germany a few months ago after making an extensive survey of the Jewish problem.
Among the other speakers were Judge Benjamin E. Greenspan, president of the Wall Street Synagogue Max Silverstein, Grand Master of the Independent Order Brith Abraham: and Simon Goldsmith, Grand Master, Order Free Sons of Israel.
Judge Benjamin E. Greenspan was elected president of the Council of Jewish Organizations on Palestine to succeed Mr. Fishman. Mr. Medalie was reelected honorary president and Magistrate Goldstein was chosen honorary vice-chairman.