Fraternal Body Votes to Move to Washington
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Fraternal Body Votes to Move to Washington

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drawn by the next convention, was defeated.

During the debate it was pointed out by Sam Beber of Omaha, Fred Bernstein of Chicago, Ben M. Achtenberg of Kansas City, and other champions of the motion that changing times require a changing emphasis in the Order’s activities. Whereas yesterday the paramount need of American Jewry was philanthropy, they contended, today that need has changed to the perpetuation of an intelligent Jewish consciousness such as the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundations, the Anti-Defamaton League, A. Z. A. and other B’nai B’rith agencies are now attempting to inculcate.


The opposition, led by Judge A. B. Frey, St. Louis, president of the Leo N. Levi Memorial Hospital; Adolph Freund of Detroit, 89-year-old. B’nai B’rith veteran; Michael Sharlitt of Cleveland, superintendent of the Cleveland Jewish Orphan Home, and others, insisted that the need of philanthropic agencies is probably greater today than ever before, and that institutions closely identified with B’nai B’rith could not be “forsaken” by the Order.

Because of “difficulties that seem insuperable,” a motion to merge “all organizations doing work of a national or international character concerning Jews,” was defeated.


The convention voted in favor of having the executive committee enlarge the scope and increase the importance of the B’nai B’rith Washington Bureau, and applauded highly the work of that bureau, which is headed by Maurice D. Rosenberg of Washington.

After discussing the history of the Joint Council of B’nai B’rith, the American Jewish Congress, and the American Jewish Committee, the delegates expressed regret at “the failure of those bodies to act in unison and harmony on all matters of moment,” and recommended “that further effort be made by the president and incoming executive committee to create unity and to enlarge the scope of the Joint Council.”


The convention declared itself “gratified by the policies of the Order” with reference to the German situation, and commended “the lofty quality of statesmanship, patience, and sound policy of action” on the part of B’nai B’rith leaders.

By an enthusiastic unanimous vote, it expressed its fervent admiration for Alfred M. Cohen, who has been a member of the organization for forty-five years and its president for the past decade. It applauded the efforts of Mr. Cohen at the London conference to aid German Jews, held in 1933, the meeting of B’nai B’rith leaders in Amsterdam which followed, and the Order’s cooperation with League High Commissioner McDonald.

The convention recommended the continuation of Americanization work until all Jews in the United States are citizens, and urged all local B’nai B’rith lodges to carry on the work where no other agencies now exist.


The Jewish situation in various countries of Europe was reviewed at last night’s session by M. Gordon Liverman, president of the British District of the B’nai B’rith.

Mr. Liverman, speaking on Poland’s recent action at Geneva in denouncing the National Minority Treaty, said that “they are regarded as an essential part of Jewish independence. They affect the lives and the citizenship of large numbers of our people.”

“Apart from this political aspect,” Mr. Liverman added, “the economic distress of the Jews in Poland has reached a degree where the extent of suffering and of misery cannot be exaggerated.”

The British leader also discussed the Jewish situation in Germany. He pointed out that families that fought for that country during the war and have contributed for generations to Germany’s cultural and economic development, have been reduced to a second-rate state of citizenship with every humiliation that goes with it.


R. E. Gutstadt of Chicago, director of the Anti-Defamation League, reported to the convention on the “tendency toward disintegration of anti-Semitic organizations in the United States.”

“This tendency,” he said, “is marked by frantic appeals among leaders of anti-Semtic organizations to their followers for financial and other support.” He cited the Silver Shirts and Khaki Shirts as being in a feeble position. He also reported that the Friends of New Germany are even in a much weaker position, largely as a consequence of the recently concluded congressional investgation into un-American activities:

Mr. Gutstadt also warned “of a recognizable tendency to try to inject anti-Semitism into American politics.” He said this tendency must be watched.

“There are 100 anti-Semitic publications and pamphlets being circulated throughout the United States,” Mr. Gutstadt reported.

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