Public desecration of the Sabbath was condemned and faith in the principles of democracy were reaffirmed in resolutions passed yesterday afternoon by the Rabbinical Assembly of America at the concluding session of the three day convention in Far Rockaway, at which Rabbi Eugene Kohn of Bayonne was elected president for the coming year.
The resolution against flouting of the Sabbath laws was introduced by Rabbi B. Leon Hurwitz of Brooklyn and Dr. Simon Greenberg of Philadelphia. It read: “We condemn all public desecration of the Sabbath such as meetings, luncheon, open offices, etc., by all groups of Jewish constituency or interest.”
The resolution on democracy, introduced by Dr. Robert Gordis of Rockaway Park and Rabbi Louis Fineberg of Cincinnati, stated that “mindful of the drawbacks that in here in our present economic and political order and seeking to advance the ushering in of a more equitable system, we reaffirm our unshakable faith in democratic institutions as a basic ideal for human society.”
VOICES THANKS OF WOMEN
A message was received from Mrs. Rebekah Kohut, president of the World Association of Jewish Women, thanking the assembly for the action taken the previous day in the liberalization of the divorce law for Jewish women. The revision overcomes the problem of “agunah” (deserted wife who cannot get a divorce or remarry under the religious law) and calls for the same privileges for Jewish women under rabbinical law as she has under the civil law.
Other officers elected besides Rabbi Kohn are: Dr. Simon Greenberg, vice-president: Rabbi Alexander Basel of the Bronx, treasurer; Rabbis Henry Fisher of Arverne, recording secretary; Dr. Robert Gordis, corresponding secretary.
Vacancies on the executive board were filled by the election of Rabbis Abraham Heller of Brooklyn, Leon Lang of Newark, Israel Levinthal of Brooklyn, Elias Margolis of Mt. Vernon, retiring president, Joseph Miller of Brooklyn and Harry Schwartz of Hempstead.
SYMPOSIUM ON FASCISM
“Fascism is a cultural reversion into the past, of a people who are unable to go forward into the future,” said Prof. Harry F. Ward of the Union Theological Seminary, president of the American League Against War and Fascism, in an address at the dinner session Tuesday night.
Dr. Ward spoke as part of a symposium on “The Jew and the Menace of Fascism,” and pointed out that the Fascist movement was an attempt to restore the absolute state of the medieval ages. He challenged the contention that Jews are more radically inclined than other religious or racial groups.
Other speakers at the session included Dr. Israel Goldstein, rabbi of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun of New York, who spoke on the anti-Semitic menace of Fascism, and Rabbi Ira Eisenstein of New York, who spoke on Fascism in Palestine. Dr. Max D. Klein of Philadelphia was chairman of the session.