Ferndale, N.Y. (Sep. 10)
A resolution urging the British Government to annul the White Paper and to open the gates of Palestine to Jewish immigrants was adopted here today by the fourth annual convention of the Agudas Israel of America.
The resolution also asked the mandatory power to guarantee the religious character of Palestine. “The Jews come to Palestine not by virtue of any diplomatic documents,” the resolution reads, “but by the strength of the Divine declaration embodied in the Bible, and recognized by the entire civilized world. It is the Bible which calls Palestine the Land of Israel, and the Jewish people will therefore never recognize any violation of that Divine right so long as they remain faithful to their religion and to the laws of Israel.”
The convention discussed a plan for immediate rescue of as many European Jews as possible from the grip of the Nazis; the creation of a national fund for the support of Orthodox Jewish education in the United States; the centralization of the orthodox educational system; the creation of a central organization embodying orthodox Jewish communities throughout the United States; and the strengthening of religious institutions in Palestine. A prayer was delivered for ultimate victory for America and her Allies, and an appeal to the religious conscience of the world “not to forget the lost tribe of Israel in the dark forest of Nazi-Europe,” was voiced.
SPEAKERS ATTACK ZIONIST LEADERSHIP; CONVENTION HEARS ROOSEVELT GREETING
A severe attack on Zionist leadership in the United States was voiced by Rabbi Eliezer Silver, president of the Agudas Israel Organization of America, addressing the convention. Rabbi Silver also read to the convention a message from President Roosevelt which said: “It gives me great pleasure to extend hearty greetings to Agudas Israel of America. I trust that the organization will be ever faithful to the highest ethical and moral principles of the Jewish religion.”
Terming the present Zionist leadership in the United States “assimilationist and opponents of real orthodox Judaism,” Rabbi Silver emphasized that “the Agudas Israel does not combat Zionism, but its reformed leadership which constitutes a most dangerous element in American Jewry.” He charged the non-reform leaders in the Zionist movement with giving “silent support to a tendency which is solely responsible for the degradation of orthodoxy in American Jewish life.”
“The Agudas Israel,” Rabbi Silver said, “will fight these assimilationist reform leaders who have become so powerful that at the recent session of the American Jewish Conference missionary statements were read out and no orthodox delegate dared to protest against them. The Agudas Israel will continue its work in Palestine and its struggle for the rescue of those who are in the prisons, as well as for a strong orthodox Jewry in America.”
Mr. Jacob Rosenheim, president of the World Agudas Israel Organization, who recently arrived here from London, delivered message of greeting in behalf “of those orthodox Jews in the ghettos who are forced to silence by the most brutal tyranny ever in existence and who, in their hour of distress, find hope only in the trust in God.” It is their wish, Mr. Rosenheim concluded, that we, in the free countries, “defend the old heritage of Israel, its traditions and its great mission as the President of the United States rightly asks us to do.”