Both praise and criticism of the American Jewish Congress proposal for a united front on Jewish affairs was expressed Friday night by Bernard G. Richards, an organizer of the Congress and for many years its executive secretary.
The trouble with the plan, Mr. Richards declared in an address at the Bensonhurst Jewish Center, “is that the American Jewish Congress is now the weakest link in the chain of different groups and organizations which it is planning to bring together.”
HAS LOST CONSTITUENCY
Mr. Richards, speaking on the “Effectiveness of a World Jewish Congress,” pointed out that “the Congress has lost the constituency it once had and the small following of lodge brethren it has means very little.”
Despite this criticism, Mr. Richards found ground, he said, for congratulating the Congress.
Whether the peace move inaugurated by its leaders “is a virtue of necessity or not,” Richards said, “or whether they do or do not deserve to be helped out of their dilemma is not the question of the moment.
“The gratifying fact of the matter is that some order has been brought out of the chaos of confused and extravagant ideas and those who put forward and carry through the unity plan deserve a lot of credit for what they did.”
Mr. Richards declared that the only kind of World Congress with a hope of success was one “with a definite plan or program.” This, so far as the American Jewish Congress is concerned, Mr. Richards stated, “does not seem to exist after three years of loud-speaking about the proposal.”