It is not often that a group of young men representing Jewry from every section of the Nation is assembled to discuss common problems. One of these infrequent occasions occurred here only a few days ago. It was in the eleventh annual convention of Aleph Zadek Aleph, junior order of B’nai B’rith, which brought more than 500 Jewish youths together.
That Jewish youth is serious minded, more so at this time than ever before in recent years, was clearly in evidence during the three days of convention sessions.
Underneath all the gaiety typical of youth, there was a determination to analyze the problems of the dayâ€”particularly problems of their race and those of the world in which they live as would a scientist who works tirelessly for the benefit of mankind to improve a product by removing its flaws and applying the results of intensive research.
Significant to Jewry at large is the keener interest which Jewish youth is taking in trends. One of the apparent needs is satisfying the hunger this younger generation has for information on tendencies which affect Jewish life. The attention accorded to the convention speakers on Jewish problems clearly indicated this need.
The principal speaker was Rabbi Edward L. Israel of Baltimore, Md., who delivered an address which is well worth quoting, at least in part. Rabbi Israel is a student of trends as they affect the Jews.
“The frame work by which Hitler rose to power is showing in this country,” Rabbi Israel believes. It is taking hold through a wave of propaganda being circulated by anti-Semites. He is of the opinion that while the older generation has a problem to face, “the younger has more of a problem.”
This problem confronting the young Jewish men and women includes economic discrimination, a phase in which the Aleph Zadek Aleph has already taken a marked interest through the establishment of a commission to delve into it.
To Jewish youth Rabbi Israel said, “Do not be led astray into thinking that the way to lessen anti-Semitism is to have fewer doctors, or fewer lawyers. That is rot. No matter what occupation the Jew of today might have, he would still be competing with non-Jews out of work, prejudicing the economic injustice. As long as we have an economic situation in which the Jew has to compete with jobless non-Jews, there will be anti-Semites. The problem of the anti-Semite is wound up with economics, and unless young men have wisdom and foresight to solve the unemployment problems and lessen the unemployment of men and women non-Jews and raise them out of the miserable slums, Jews will not be able to make headway in meeting their own problems.”
To a considerable extent, the fate of Jewry in America rests in Jewry’s own hands, Rabbi Israel believes. “The Jewish exploiter of labor, the Jewish profiteer, the Jew who has determined to hoard to himself an amount of money, the Jew who fights the progress measures of our Government, that Jew is as much an instigator of anti-Semitism as Hitler. Because, by his system, he is producing the economic injustice, he is fostering hatred. And that today is causing the Jewish problem. The Jewish problem will not be solved in Germany or anywhere else until a finer, more liberal economic life is brought about.”
Greater unison among Jews has been the need for years before the Hitler terror struck, Rabbi Israel points out. Of late, Jewry has been living “only by fears of Hitlers.” Jewry today, he says, is called up on to build up the philosophy of Jewish life “that will not depend upon Hitlers for sustenance.”
All kinds of rumors travel around Washington during these hot summer days. One of the latest is that Dr. Hans Luther, German Ambassador to the United States who is now in Germany presumably untangling the financial knot, will not resume his duties in Washington. Dr. Luther is a former head of the Reichsbank, and his keen knowledge of the intricacies of finance may keep him in Germany, where the present financial and economic situation is acute.
In other quarters of Washington the rumor is discredited. Yet, it is pointed out that Herr Hans Diekhoff may succeed Dr. Luther in the event a change was made. Herr Hans Diekhoff is a former counselor of the German Embassy in Washington, and was reported to have been offered the Ambassadorship before Dr. Luther was appointed.
Fees to American consulates in Germany have to be paid in dollars instead of marks, the State Department has ruled. This is because of the exchange and transfer difficulties arising out of the German moratorium. These regulations may be expected to be in force until the German exchange problem returns to normalcy.