NEW YORK (Jun. 12)
Morris Rothenberg, president of the Zionist Organization of America, announced today that “in view of the present emergency in Palestine and in Jewish life generally” he would stand for re-election at the Z.O.A.’s convention in Providence next month.
His statement was made at a luncheon tendered to him by a delegation of Zionist leaders representing Zionist groups numbering 7,000 members at the Fifth Avenue Restaurant. The delegation presented a resolution urging Mr. Rothenberg to run again.
Among those present were I.D. Morrison, first secretary of the Z.O.A.; Louis P. Rocker, head of the Z.O.A. finance committee; Leon R. Levinson, president of the Bronx Zionist Region; Heinrich Abramowitz, secretary of the Order Sons of Zion; Abraham Spicehandler, secretary of the Histadruth Ivrith; Leo Wilson, Elias Preiss, Louis Rimsky, Judge Hyman J. Reit and Samuel Kanarvogel.
Mr. Rothenberg’s statement follows:
“I deeply appreciate the sentiments and the confidence in me that are expressed in the resolution presented to me by those assembled here today and the Zionists whom this committee represents.
“Ever since it became known that I was disinclined again to assume the office of president of the Zionist Organization of America, I have been urged by Zionists from every part of the country not to lay down the office in the present critical juncture in Zionist affairs.
“In deference to their demands and my own concern over the present situation, I had been giving the matter serious consideration. I had not until now come to any definite conclusion on the subject.
“Information that was circulated by a Jewish news agency that I would not be a candidate again was unauthorized, and no inquiry on the subject was made of me by such news agency before it disseminated such information.
“Having actively served the Zionist cause for twenty years, three of which as president of the Zionist Organization of America, and having, as I believe, made a substantial contribution toward advancing the Zionist organization over the condition it was in when the present administration took office, it was my desire to give more thought to my personal interests, which were urgently in need of attention.
“However, after careful deliberation, I have decided that in view of the present emergency in Palestine and in Jewish life generally, I must not decline to continue to serve as president of the Zionist organization if it be the will of my fellow-Zionists in this country as expressed through the convention that I do so.”
The delegation held the luncheon after a recent meeting at the home of Mr. Preiss at which there were represented about twenty Zionist districts in the New York area together with other Zionist bodies. The resolution was endorsed by Zionist leaders outside of New York, including Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver of Cleveland. The meeting adopted the resolution calling on Mr. Rothenberg to continue to serve as president.