Wertheim, President of American Jewish Committee, Says Americans Reject Anti-semitism

The election of Maurice Wertheim, prominent New York banker and communal leader, as President of the American Jewish Committee to succeed the late Sol M. Stroock, was announced here yesterday. Mr. Wertheim becomes the fifth president of the American Jewish Committee. In addition to the late Mr. Stroock, previous holders of that office were Judge Mayer Sulzberger, Louis Marshall, and Dr. Cyrus Adler.

In accepting the presidency, Mr. Wertheim spoke of the challenge and grave responsibility in assuming his office at a time of such crisis. “Fortunately,” he stated,” it has already been shown that anti-Semitism is a manifestation repugnant to the vast majority of Americans. To resist it successfully, we must assist American Jews to do their duties as Americans and as Jews in a worthy manner and to play their part in the affairs of our country as worthily as worthily as ever their ancestors did. We have confidence in the traditional American conception of equality and freedom which has made this country a sanctuary of peace and tolerance. If we hold fast to American and Jewish principles, we need have no fear. I can assure you that we expect to be vigilant and, along with other Americans, to resist with all our power all efforts to secure for Nazi doctrines in any form, a foothold in this country and to disturb the democratic foundations which are dearer than life to all Americans.

“The tragedy abroad,” Mr. Wertheim continued, “represents a challenge to the Jews of this country to work as they have never worked before toward a post-war society that would make for the maintenance of the fundamental basis of humane civilization. Shoulder to shoulder with Americans of other faiths, we must fight the old fight for justice which the Hebrew prophets fought in their day and for which all lovers of mankind have struggled throughout the ages.”

Other officers of the American Jewish Committee are: Louis E. Kirstein, Chairman; Irving Lehman, Honorary Vice-President; Abram I. Elkus, Honorary Vice-President; Lessing J. Rosenwald, Vice-President; Carl J. Austrian, Vice-President; Samuel D. Leidesdorf, Treasurer; Morris D. Waldman, General Secretary; Sidney Wallach, Associate Secretary; Harry Schneiderman, Assistant Secretary.

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