Fraternal Body Beat Slump, Leader States

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The Independent Order Brith Abraham has overcome the years of depression and is still the largest Jewish fraternal order in the world, Max Silverstein, its Grand Master, today told 900 delegates at the opening of the forty-eighth annual convention at the Garden Pier Theatre.

A message of greeting from President Roosevelt was a feature of the opening session. Judge Joseph Altman conveyed the greetings of Mayor Bachrach, who called upon the order to fight Nazi propaganda in New Jersey. Judge William M. Lewis of Philadelphia greeted the convention in the name of the Independent Order Brith Sholom, of which he is president, and urged cooperation between the two bodies.

Mr. Silverstein bitterly attacked “the troublemakers and unsuccessful office-seekers within the ranks of the Order”. It is this group that is responsible for the reduction of the membership of the Order from 214,000 to less than 100,000 members, he said. It is this same group which circulated false rumors that the Order was about to be taken over by the Insurance Department for liquidation, he emphasized.

Brith Abraham, Mr. Silverstein reported to the convention, is now in a position where its reserve funds will be sufficient for a period of some 15 years.

2,989 DEATHS IN YEAR

Mr. Silverstein reported that the total deaths in the Order for the period commencing January 1, 1934, and ending May 31, 1935, was 2,989. It required about $1,500,000 to pay the widows and orphans of the deceased. All endowment and disability claims have been promptly paid and all the funds of the Order are closely safeguarded, Mr. Silverstein stated.

Mr. Silverstein recommended to the convention that the Order continue its affiliation with the American Jewish Congress and help the Ort organization morally and financially in the productive work of helping East European Jews to adjust themselves to artisanship and colonization, in different parts of Europe.

The Grand Master also recommended that all lawful means be used to combat discriminatory immigration laws in America. He urged that the Order strive to bring about unity in American Jewish ranks and should endeavor to make peace between the American Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Committee. For that purpose he suggested that the Grand Master of the Order should be authorized to call a meeting of presidents and heads of all nation al Jewish organizations in America and make an effort to have them unite in all problems involving Jewry and Judaism.

Max L. Hollander, Grand Secretary of the Order, in his message to the delegates informed the convention that immediately after the last convention the Insurance Department of the State of New York, without any advance notice, examined the books and records of the Order and after working for about two months submitted a report which declared that the examiners found the books of the Order well kept. Mr. Hollander concluded his address with an appeal for unity in the ranks of the Order.

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