NEW YORK (Jun. 17)
A single agency coordinating efforts in defense of Jewish rights appeared to be nearing reality today when the American Jewish Congress, American Jewish Committee and Jewish Labor Committee announced ratification of the Pittsburgh unity agreement, leaving only B’nai B’rith yet to act.
The Congress administrative committee, meeting at the Hotel Astor last night, accepted the proposals by an overwhelming majority and agreed to drop its referendum if the other organizations ratified. A statement by Dr. Stephen S. Wise, president, and louis Lipsky, vice-president, said: “The Pittsburgh resolution is not a complete victory for the Congress ideas and ideals, but it is a triumph sufficiently great to justify the price the Congress will have to pay for it.”
The executive committee of the American Jewish Committee, meeting this afternoon, approved the agreement and expressed appreciation to the group of Pittsburgh Jewish leaders, headed by Edgar J. Kaufmann, who took the initiative in bringing together representative of the four organizations.
The Labor Committee last evening unanimously accepted the proposals. Its resolution said: “Having heard the report of the delegates to the Pittsburgh conference of the American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith, the American Jewish Congress and the Jewish Labor Committee, we hereby ratify the agreement arrived at by the aforementioned organizations, in accordance with the provisions stipulated therein.”
The only organization yet to announce its decision is B’nai B’rith, which has sent copies of the agreement to members of its executive committee by airmail, asking them to reply by telegram. It is expected that the B’nai B’rith office in Washington will have all the replies by Saturday. The agreement provides for ratification by June 20.
The American Jewish Congress statement says in part:
“The Pittsburgh resolution is not a complete victory for the Congress ideas and ideals, but it is a triumph sufficiently great to justify the price the Congress will have to pay for it. These proposals are in a large part the very plan implicit in the question the American Jewish Congress has referred to American Jewry. Consequently, if they are not only accepted but also wisely and loyally implemented, what the Congress has been struggling to achieve these many years will in part have been attained. There will be a single agency for the defense of Jewish rights in which all groups in American Jewish life will ultimately be represented fairly. Thus, the democratic principles of representation will be observed. Moreover, dissident minorities will be bound by the decisions of a majority and will no longer be free to thwart and paralyze the will of the majority. Thus, the democratic principles of majority rule will be respected, and thus democratic principles will make possible not only common counsel but common action that will make possible effective unity.”