ATLANTIC CITY (Jun. 24)
The 52nd annual meeting of the Central Conference of American Rabbis opened tonight with a call by its president, Rabbi Emil W.Leizinger of New Orleans, to support President Roosevelt’s leadership in the world crisis and to lunch a “bold offensive”for Judaism.
Declaring that “we shall not allow our people to yield to the panic and blue funk of race suicide and assimilation,” Rabbi Leipziger told more than 200 Liberal rabbis from all parts of the country that “if Israel is to die…there is the way of the martyr of ancient Roman tyranny who died at the stake with the Scroll of the Law wrapped about him.”
Rabbi Leipsigers’s specific recommendations included (1) acceptance of support of lay organizations for the Synagogue Council of American, (2) increased support for the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, (3) raising of funds for the World Union for Progressive Judaism in London, (4) a resolution of “whole-hearted loyalty and cooperation” with President Roosevelt’s program of aiding the democracies, (5) appointment of a commission of five rabbis to study “the impact of liberal religious influences”on post-war problems, unless the Liberal rabbis receive representation in the American Jewish Committee’s Institute on Peace and Post-War Problems, (6) study of plans for “a new adventure in the search of Jewish unity” as a result of the “practical breakup”of the General Jewish Council.
The retiring president forecast election of Rabbi Jamas G. Haller of Cincinnati as his successor.
The “bold offensive,”Rabbi Leipsinger said, should be aimed “to carry forward our historic God consciousness and to make ethical monotheism be for every son of Israel a constant reminder of his world duty, of his obligation to be at home in the great unfolding quest for all-embracing righteousness and enduring peace; and to share in that quest frankly and consciously as Jews.”
Urging support of President Roosevelt, he said “such a leader we follow without fear, with perfect confidence.” He declared that the President “has mustered manpower with understanding and sympathy and with a minimum of official pressure.”
Discussing the necessity for Jewish unity, he asserted: “It would be madness in the crisis of world affairs for the Jews of America to fail to present a united front in the great day of peace. We shall not have that unity then if we do not reach out to it now and make it effective in the atmosphere of American life which has been subtly tainted by Nazi influences.”
Referring to the fear that Palestine many fall under Nazi domination, Rabbi Leipsinger recalled that “the Holy Land, though nearing the brink of catastrophe, is still the haven of the dispossessed of many lands, still the symbol of the creative spirit of the Jewish pioneer.”