Menu JTA Search

Temple Men Hear Charnas Hit at Congress

What was construed by listeners as a veiled attack on the American Jewish Congress was voiced today by Theodore Charnas, president of the National Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs of the United Synagogue of America, at the closing session today of the annual convention of the group at Grossman’s Hotel.

Sounding a warning against “spurious Jewish leadership,” Mr. Charnas cautioned that “democracy is too often the favorite slogan of the demagogue.

NEED NEW LEADERSHIP

{NOTE}”We must,” he said, “create a new type of Jewish leadership which will come only through the application of trained Jewish intelligence to those problems which confront us.{/NOTE}

“We must not permit spurious Jewish leadership to mislead our people by catchy slogans or pretty but empty formulae. We ought to appraise very carefully the claims of Jewish organizations and the bassis of their appeals for membership.”

Obviously refering to the American Jewish Congress’ proposed democratic elections scheduled for this April, Charnas continued:

“We all believe in the democratic dogma, but the word democracy has been so overworked of late in its application to Jewish organization and Jewish methods that it has become at times a snare to the thoughtless.

SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE NEEDED

{NOTE}”The fight for Jewish right must have every Jew behind it. In that sense, united Jewish action must be democratic. But the struggles in which we are engaged call too for special knowledge, responsible statesmanship, and a perfected technique.{/NOTE}

“Democracy is too often the favorite slogan of a demagogue. As a national organization of Jewish laymen, it becomes our duty to probe the policies and objectives of those organizations which spring up from time to time in American-Jewish life for the accomplishment of one purpose or another.”

Resolutions aiming to strengthen the Men’s Club movement throughout the country and calling for cooperation with the National Conference of Jews and Christians were adopted by the convention.

Other speakers at the convention were Rabbi Joseph Miller, Brooklyn; Jess J. Finkle, New York; Abraham J. Gellinoff, New York, and Louis Soll, New York.

NEXT STORY