Capital Comment

The decision to move the B’nai B’rith executive offices from Cincinnati to Washington may logically be regarded as one of the most significant developments at the fourteenth quinquennial convention of the Order. This action will bring to the nation’s capital the headquarters of one of the most powerful Jewish organizations in the United States. As a result, American Jewry will be #sured of the vigilance of an official organization body which commands the respect of every governmental agency with which it has had dealings.

For a considerable number of years leaders of American Jewry have felt the need of representation in Washington which could keep an eye on developments and be in position to act in time of need. B’nai B’rith has maintained a Washington representative for more than a decade. During recent years, this representative has had a busy time of it. While much has been accomplished for Jewry through this representative, the delays occasioned by the fact that the home office was so far away from Washington left much undone.

That B’nai B’rith has committed itself to a move which will make the organization the eyes and ears of American Jewry in the affairs at Washington, cannot be denied. This Order has carried on in belief of Jewry for nearly a century. With the decision to move its executive offices to the nation’s capital, the opportunities for greater service to Jewry are apparent.

The transfer of the executive offices to Washington will have to be made within the next three years, according to the terms of the decision voted on by the convention. In view of the pressing need for an official body in Washington which would be in position to act in behalf of Jews with the greatest of dispatch, it would be a mistake on the part of B’nai B’rith if it did not move its executive offices to this city within the current year.

In the words of Representative Herman P. Koppleman of Connecticut, “every member of Congress and the people of the country generally” should read the address which Speaker Joseph W. Byrns delivered before the B’nai B’rith convention banquet. This address, according to the Representative from Connecticut, “is worthy of the high office which Speaker #ns holds.”

The Speaker’s talk centered around the contribution of Jews to the economic and cultural life of the world, particularly the United States. In it he made an earnest plea for tolerance in keeping with the basic principles of freedom on which this country was founded.

In a tribute to the Jewish members of Congress, Speaker Byrns said. “I cannot refrain from referring to some of those with whom I have served since I have been a member of Congress and some of whom I see before me. I recall Hon. Julius Kahn of San Francisco, who rendered high service in the House during the World War. His capable and estimable widow, Mrs. Florence Kahn, is now filling his place in the House with equal distinction and ability. Sitting here at the table is my good friend Hon. A. J. Sabath, the beloved dean of the House, who has for so many years served his district in Chicago, and the Nation, with particular distinction and conspicuous ability.

“And also my friend, Hon. Sol Bloom of New York, who has rendered splendid service, the most notable of which was that in connection with the celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Washington, the Father of our Country, and who I think it is only fair to say has done more than anyone of his generation to revive and restore the memory of Washington and his high ideals in the minds and hearts of the present generation.

“And another good friend is the Hon. Herman Koppleman of the State of Connecticut, who enjoys the confidence and esteem of all of his colleagues because of his faithful and able service. Then there is the learned and eloquent Dr. Sirovitch of New York, and Hon. Emanuel Celler, Samuel Dickstein, and Theodore Peyser, also of the State of New York; and Hon. Isaac Bacharach of the State of New Jersey; Hon. Henry Ellenbogen of the State of Pennsylvania; and Hon. William Citron of the State of Connecticut, all of whom enjoy the esteem and friendship of their colleagues and are serving with distinction. I am glad of this opportunity to pay brief tribute to the service of all these distinguished Representatives.”

Officially, M. Gordon Liverman of London, came to the United States as a delegate to the B’nai B’rith convention and as a representative of B’nai B’rith in Europe. Unofficially, however, he came to the United States as an “ambassador of good will.” In addition to addressing the convention. Mr. Liverman had occasion to talk to the Washington Rotary Club.

In his talk, the Englishman praised the work of international peace leaders and urged further cooperation in behalf of world peace. He asked that the work of President Wilson, Elihu Root and Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, to name only three, be carried on in cooperation with England. Mr. Liverman is president of the Rotary Club of London. As chairman of the club’s International Service Committee, he has for the past few years made many contacts by mail with American clubs on the subject of international peace.

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