Rabbis Adopt Seven-point Peace Plan
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Rabbis Adopt Seven-point Peace Plan

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and home industry, and by the same token improve international relations; to gather and to diffuse correct information that will enable people to recognize and properly judge the skillful propaganda for a program of provocative military and naval competition in the name of preparedness against a hypothetical attack against the United States.”

A seven-point peace program adopted by the conference contains besides a plea for immediate ratification of the World Court protocols, the following: A request that the government state the terms on which it would join a revised League of Nations; a request for the investigation of the arms and munitions industry; advocacy of the arms embargo resolution; a plea for the postponement of further naval construction until after the 1935 naval conference; energetic support of the World Disarmament Conference along the lines urged by this committee; and an appeal for larger appropriations for the Department of State to function also as a peace body.


It was agreed that the commercial armament industry is a hindrance to world peace and should be nationalized; that failing that, it should be placed under the government supervision and control. The conference went on record as opposing compulsory military training in colleges and universities and all military training in high schools, because such training “expresses a war spirit.”

“We are opposed to all moving pictures and other vehicles of public information,” the resolutions stated, “which would make war attractive and present it as a just and honorable way of settling international differences.”

The resolutions were presented by the chairman, Rabbi Max C. Currick, of Erie, and signed by the following rabbis: Morris S. Lazaron, vice-chairman; David B. Alpert, Samuel H. Barron, Frederick Cohn, Joseph S. Kornfeld, David Rosenbaum and Nathan Stern.


Rabbi S. Israel, member of the national Council for the Prevention of War, told the rabbis that certain members of the council indicated acceptance of Hitlerism as an established fact and were ready to recognize and deal with the German government. He further charged that the chairman of an important committee of the council took a trip to Germany on the North German Lloyd steamship line, as the guest of the steamship company, and then returned and gave lectures endorsing the policies of Hitler.

Continuing his remarks, Rabbi Israel said he informed the council that he could no longer serve if that is the stand it will take toward the government that is persecuting his people and fermenting a war in Europe by its other activities.

Rabbi Israel asked the conference which cooperates with this body to go on record as opposing the stand taken by several members of the peace council. Rabbi Israel served as a private citizen and not as a representative of the rabbis.

To help maintain rabbis and also to aid congregations that face financial difficulties, the conference decided to name a standing committee to study the problems and aid these rabbis and congregations, and also to permit the board to accept contributions from individual rabbis.

The following have been elected officers of the alumni associations of the Hebrew Union College which met last night: President, George Fox, Chicago (re-elected); vice-president, Solomon B. Freehof, Pittsburgh; secretary, F. I. Rypins, Greensboro, N. C.; and treasurer, Julian B. Feibelman, Philadelphia. The executive committee chosen for a three-year term includes Abram Brill, Shreveport, La.; Julius Mark, Nashville Tenn.; and William Rosenblum, New York City. Abraham Feldman, of Hartford, Conn., was appointed historian.

Representatives of the Alumni Association have been elected as follows: To the executive committee of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, George Fox; to the board of governors of the Hebrew Union College, Felix A. Levy, of Chicago, Max Currick, of Erie, Pa., and David Philipson, of Cincinnati; to the board of managers of the Bureau of Synagogue and School Extension, Abraham Feldman, of Hartford, Conn., and Emil Leipziger, of New Orleans.


Addressing the Central Conference of American Rabbis, in its third session yesterday, Rabbi Andrew Abraham J. Feldman, of Hartford, Conn., asked the conference and their congregations to readopt the “concept” of the “religious peoplehood” of the Jews. Those who do not recognize religion as the basic element of the Jewish tradition, and those who refuse to recognize the element of “peoplehood” that has persisted in this Jewish tradition, along with religion, are rebels, he charged, against the essential spirit of Judaism. These exponents of “secular nationalism,” he said, have taken from Judaism some of its chief essentials of belief.

“The plague of de-Judaization is rampant in our life today. And I make bold to assert that we of the liberal wing are responsible for it, by having ignored to largely this factor ‘peoplehood.’ We might as well recognize this truth and proceed to act upon it. The contagion of the plague is spreading.”

As a solution to the problem he posed, Rabbi Feldman urged “a new statement, a new declaration of principle” upon the conference, “that will reassert the spiritual and ethnic oneness of Israel, that will take sympathetic cognizance of Palestine that is being rebuilt, of the spiritual and cultural values inherent in that phenomenal development. And secondly, we should proceed to draw up a statement of views and not limit it to a social justice program; and by means of the widest kind of propaganda disseminate it in all our communities, with the purpose of reaching those who are drifting, and drifting away.” He continued:

“The secular nationalists in Jewish life have eliminated Judaism with its concept of ‘ALL the congregations are holy, every one of them.’ They have, under the guise of ‘folkways’ made a religion out of ritual and ceremonial forms, while they themselves do not observe even these. We have even developed a brand of ‘Jewish’ educator (though I do not include all, by any means, in this class) who views religion in any guise and form as a superstition and a nuisance; who look upon all that has given spiritual substance to Jewishness as outlived folly, and who speaks of those who were martyrs to their religious faith as deluded fools. These secularists have forgotten, or have never learned, that in the building of an authentic Jewish life, they cannot emphasize only the body of Judaism, lest they succeed also in destroying the soul.

“On the other hand, in the post-emancipation Jewish philosophy the mistake was made of separating the people and the faith. For great numbers, the separation of the faith from the destiny and reality of the people resulted in loss of Jewish group loyalty, in detachment from the pulsating experience of the Jewish mass. The ‘faith’ and the ‘people’ in Jewish history were, however, inseparable, they were developed together, indeed it was the cohesiveness of the people that gave vitality to the religion and in turn it was the faith and the faith alone which gave dignity and life to the people throughout the centuries. When the two were divorced in the new philosophy, what was left was only ‘ethical monotheism,” not Judaism.”


An effective message can be carried to the world by Judaism, said the Rev. Dr. William Rosenau of Baltimore, delivering the annual convention lecture, only if rabbis everywhere, as teachers, make this message an integral part of their plans and methods of treating and solving world problems.

“As a group, Jewry should naturally have its own point of view,” he said. “A history extending over a period of forty centuries cannot help but show definite attitudes toward the issues of life. We are obliged, as Jews, to do Jewish thinking, which is the application of Jewish philosophy to our thinking. This philosophy tells what God, man’s purpose, Israel’s mission, humanity’s destiny and life’s hereafter, are.

“It should be noted that, before any thought of Jewry’s influence in the solution of the ever-vexing world problems can be entertained, Jewry must meet responsibilities making for Jewry’s internal strength. Let thorough consideration be given, therefore, to three elemental agencies suggesting Jewry’s particular aim. They are; the law, divine service and beneficence. If it had not been for men who devoted themselves to the study of the law, the wealth of Jewish knowledge should long ere this have been lost. To have the law prove efficacious, Jewish religious education, extending through all the periods of human life, must be pursued.


“The synagogue has always been a place of study and has always had an educational message for people of all castes. Intellectuals, therefore, must not imagine themselves free from the synagogal educational influence. Is there any spectacle more pitable than that of an intellectual Jew, who tries to crawl out of Jewry, forced eventually to crawl back on account of failure encountered in his social and professional climbing?

“But Jewish erudition is in itself not sufficient,” Dr. Rosenau declared. “We do not need academic Jews, but intelligent Jews The former store away thought, the latter give out thought.

“Like unto the law, divine service is significant. The kind of worship sponsored by a faith, perhaps more than anything else, is indicative of that faith’s proclamation of mankind’s eternal purpose. In Jewry, divine service should express an optimism in ritual, music and preachment. In this connection it is well to warn against a non-Jewish or anti-Jewish feature in prayer, song and sermon. Moses Maimonides showed the way nearly a thousand years ago, how to meet the spirit of the times without sacrificing ought of Jewish conviction.

“Beneficence is naught else but Jewish social justice, and Jewish social justice includes both good will and righteous conduct of one man toward the other, no matter who they be or what their mutual relations. All this includes not only the support of dependent and under-privileged of the community, but also aiding the hapless refugees who in these times of ours are obliged to flee German atrocity. Jews better-conditioned than their brethren are responsible for one another. The colonization of fugitives from Germany is, therefore, our obligation. Palestine naturally deserves our special consideration under obtaining conditions. But we should use our influence with statesmen of all civilized countries, in the name of humanity, to lift the bars preventing the immigration of fugitives.

“If Jewry, anywhere, has broken with its strong and steady values,” concluded Dr. Rosenau, “it is because Jewry, both through pen and pulpit, has failed to safeguard the poise necessary in these days of storm and stress, and founded on law, divine service and beneficence. To make Jewry virile and strong, we need a new religious adjustment with respect to law, divine service and beneficence. ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ “

At Friday’s session of the convention, Dr. Stephen S. Wise took issue with the advice previously proffered by Professor Henry J. Cadbury of Bryn Mawr, chairman of the American Friends Service Committee, to the effect that the Jewish people would achieve better results by exhibiting “good will instead of hatred” toward their Nazi oppressors.

This advice which created a minor sensation at the time was answered by Dr. Wise with the retort that Jews “do not hate Hitler but they do object to the persecution of our people which he has inflicted upon us.

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