Pittsburgh (Jan. 24)
Leaders of national Jewish organizations meeting here today at a conference sponsored by the B’nai B’rith for the purpose of achieving unity among American Jews on the question of the post-war status of Jews throughout the world and in Palestine, voted to convene an “American Jewish Assembly” within the next five months to “establish a common program of action in connection with post-war problems.”
An executive committee of 38 was created by today’s conference to arrange for the calling of the projected Assembly. Thirty-two members of this committee, one from each of the organizations represented here, were elected today and six places were reserved for those groups who did not send delegates. Chief among the latter are the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Labor Committee. It was decided today that the Assembly will have 500 delegates, 125 of whom shall be chosen by the cooperating organizations while the remaining 375 will be elected by the Jewish communities at local and regional conferences called for that purpose.
The delegates today adopted a proposed program for the forthcoming Assembly. It forces the tasks of the new body as: “A). To consider and recommend action on problems relating to the rights and status of Jews in the post-war world. B). To consider and recommend action on all matters looking to the implementation of the rights of the Jewish people with respect to Palestine. C). To elect a delegation to carry out the program of the American Jewish Assembly in cooperation with accredited representative of Jews throughout the world.”
Before adjourning, the meeting unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by Rabbi James G. Heller of Cincinnati protesting the extermination of European Jewry by the Nazis and expressing the hope that the United Nations will aid refugees to find asylum and will send food to the starving Jewish and non-Jewish communities of Europe wherever possible.
Henry Monsky, president of the B’nai B’rith, addressing the opening session of the conference last night, reviewed previous attempts to unify American Jewish action, notably in 1915. Mr. Monsky stressed that in seeking to unify the Jewish community, it is important that there should not be any attempt to regiment. “It must be conceded,” he added, “that loyalty to particular interpretations is important, but just as important is it not to forget the whole for the part. We have never had a common intellectual outlook. But in this crisis we must discipline ourselves to produce a common program of action.