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Zionist Leaders Launch Movement to Draft Dr. Abba Silver for ZOA Presidency

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A group of 100 leading American Zionists from coast to coast have launched a movement to draft Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, Cleveland rabbi, and national chairman of the United Palestine Appeal and of the United Jewish Appeal, for the presidency of the Zionist Organization of America, whose annual convention is to be held in Columbus, Ohio in September, it was learned here today. The group is headed by Charles Rosenbloom, Pittsburgh philanthropist, as chairman and Joel Gross, Jewish leader of Newark, N.J., as vice chairman.

The draft effort was made public by Mr. Rosenbloom in a desire to get the support of other Zionists in persuading Dr. Silver to “put aside all other Jewish communal obligations in order to accept the leadership of the Zionist movement in America.” The group revealed that an appeal had been submitted to Dr. Silver asserting that “the Zionist movement is faced with the greatest crisis in its history, requiring leadership that will be courageous, stimulating and inspiring,” and declaring that he was the one man in America to take the helm.

The fight on the British White Paper policy for Palestine, due to go into effect next year, was said to be one of the important tasks requiring the best leadership. Dr. Silver was also reminded that preparations must now be made to prepare Palestine for mass Jewish immigration after the war. The Committee sponsoring Dr. Silver’s candidacy is in the process of formation and will include representatives of every Zionist District in New York, it was announced.

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