The New York Society of the Jewish Theological Seminary, in the year since its inception, has increased its membership from 800 to more than 1,000, it was announced last night at its first annual meeting in the auditorium of the Seminary, Broadway and 122d street, by Edgar J. Nathan Jr., president. Mr. Nathan also drew attention to the fact that the society has interested New Yorkers in the institution to whom the Seminary was previously just a name.
Dr. Cyrus Adler, president of the Seminary, presided at the meeting at which Prof. Norman Bentwich of the Hebrew University and Rabbi Milton Steinberg of the Park Avenue Synagogue, an alumnus of the Seminary, were the principal speakers. Short reports were also delivered by Judge Harry Stackell and Mrs. Raphael C. Korn who reported on the activities of the Bronx division and the women’s sections of the local group.
Dr. Steinberg warned that just because this is “an age of violent change and a time when the Jewish group faces major crises,” Jewish scholarship must not be neglected even though to many it must seem “both trivial and unrealistic.”
Speaking of Palestine, Prof. Bentwich said that chauvinistic nationalism must not be allowed in the Homeland. Calling the idea of social justice a dominant force in the building up of Palestine, he said:
“There is need for an altruistic nationalism; Jewish nationality has beenâ€”and must beâ€”bound up with ‘universal’ Judaism. The chauvinistic nationalism of our day is a degrading form of polytheism against which the Jewish people again must fight; there are signs in Palestine of a deeper religious and universal outlook.”