CHARLEVOIX, Mich. (Jun. 19)
Creation of a central Jewish body to organize emigration of Jews from Europe after the war was urged tonight by Dr. Jacob R.Marcus, Professor of History at Hebrew Union College, in an address prepared for delivery before the Central Conference of American Rabbis, which is holding its fifty-first annual convention here.
Dr.Marcus expressed the belief that “Palestine may not in our generation develop into a center for mass flight,” while Rabbi Julius Gordon of St. Louis, participating with him in a symposium on “The Jewish People in the World Today,” voiced faith in “the survival of Israel and in the revival of the land of Israel.”
Dr. Marcus, whose subject was “Mass Migrations of the Jews and Their Effects Upon Jewish Life,” said:
“We may confidently expect further economic dislocations and an intensification of the Jewish political and economic crisis after the second World War has come to an end. The probability of the opening of doors to immigration and the free flow of international trade are remote. The one hope for a post-war amelioration–and this only in the event of an Allied victory–is that the whole problem of the Jew in Europe will be reopened and seriously considered….
“The possibility of the transportation of great masses of Jews from a hostile, culturally low environment, and their colonization under governmental auspices will no doubt be carefully weighed. To see that such a transplanting of the Jewish masses be more than a cruel deportation, it is essential that world Jewry create a powerful representative organization that can make this transfer spell a new chapter of hope in the history of the Jews.”
Dr. Marcus described American Jewry as the greatest the world has yet seen and the only Jewish community that can possible challenge Palestine as potentially the leading center of Jewish learning and Jewish leadership. He saw no hope for the future of the Jewish community of Soviet Russia.
“There is not the remotest possibility that Russia will become a center of Jewish life,” he said. “She will never tolerate a Jewish cultural center founded on religion, and world Jewry will never accept any leadership not based on religious tradition.”
Rabbi Gordon, speaking on “Palestine, Its Part in Jewish Life and Literature,” expressed faith in the ultimate survival of the Jewish homeland.
“Should the present war spread to the eastern end of the Mediterranean, the settlement in Palestine would inevitably suffer,” he said. “Cities and colonies may go up in flames. Our youth in Palestine may be decimated. The economic and political status of Palestine may be seriously impaired. But even such a catastrophe would not spell the end of the Jewish community in Palestine. Nor would it spell the end of the Zionist movement. The same zeal which has enabled our people to overcome insuperable difficulties in the past will help us build a new world upon the ruins and ashes of the old.”
Rabbi Albert G. Minda of Minneapolis, in a report of the Committee on Church and State, said this afternoon: “Due to the impact of world events, Democratic institutions and processes are no longer taken for granted. We cannot agree with the thesis that because the public school does not teach or sponsor religious instruction directly, that this institution is Godless and makes for atheism.” The committee opposed introduction of the release time plan in schools as a violation of the principle of separation of Church and State, declared a majority of teachers in the public schools were religious-minded and that the responsibility for youth and crime rests on the home and the church as well as the school.
Papers on Rashi as Bible and Talmud commentator were read by Dr. Henry Englande and Dr. Jacob Z. Lauterbach, both of Cincinnati.