B’nai B’rith Seeks Wider Scope for Work of Tri-party Council
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B’nai B’rith Seeks Wider Scope for Work of Tri-party Council

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Alfred M. Cohen, president of B’nai B’rith, has been authorized by the executive committee of the order to negotiate with the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress for an enlargement of the powers and duties of the Joint Council of B’nai B’rith, the Committee and the Congress.

Up to the present time, the Joint Council, which has been meeting regularly for more than a year, has been limiting its efforts to the German-Jewish problem, and whenever its attention is called to the situation of Jews in other countries, the point is raised that it was organized for the sole purpose of handling that issue.


Mr. Cohen will negotiate with the Committee and the Congress for an enlargement of its jurisdiction to include all countries in which Jews are adversely affected because they are Jews, so that the Council may serve the Jew everywhere as it is at present seeking to serve the Jewish victims of Nazism.

A vigorous stand against the calling of a World Jewish Congress has been taken by B’nai B’rith’s executive committee. A year ago the Executive Committee had declared that B’nai B’rith would not participate in a World Jewish Congress unless conditions should arise which would indicate the wisdom of a changed attitude. Such conditions have not yet arisen the executive committee decided, in concurring with President Cohen’s recommendation that the order continue on record as opposed to a World Jewish Congress.


“Not only has nothing been presented justifying a reversal of the position taken by the executive committee,” said President Cohen, “but on the contrary, in one respect the basis of the decision reached has been strengthened by the ever-increasing sentiment against the proposal, thus reducing those who favor it to only a small fraction of the Jewish people. Therefore, if the meeting were to be held it could not by the wildest stretch of the imagination be regarded as a World Jewish Congress.

“It is my judgment that we should let nothing remain undone to persuade the advocates of the undertaking that it is fraught with mischief and misfortune for all Jews and especially for those in travail enough without adding to the seriousness of their plight. We should lend our energy to the task of securing a withdrawal of the plans to hold an election next April for delegates who are to arrange a meeting later in the year of what would be called a World Jewish Congress.”

For related reasons, the Executive Committee approved President Cohen’s recent refusal of the American Jewish Congress invitation to appoint a B’nai B’rith representative on a national election board which is to formulate the election machinery and the carrying through of the election proper of delegates to the American Jewish Congress in April. President Cohen pointed out that B’nai B’rith should not be called upon to cooperate in a matter which is the exclusive concern of the latter.


The Jewish Center Talmud Torah and Sunday School, 131 West Eighty-sixth street, yesterday announced the commencement of its second term of study under the direction of Rabbi Leo Jung.

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