Dr. Morgenstern Calls for Jewish Unity; Urges Integration of Judaism with Americanism
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Dr. Morgenstern Calls for Jewish Unity; Urges Integration of Judaism with Americanism

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Declaring that the war has shifted the center of Jewish life to the United States and Palestine, Dr. Julius Morgenstern, president of the Hebrew Union College, today made a plea for Jewish unity in America in an address opening the 71st academic year of the College.

Dr. Morgenstern spoke at great length on the opportunity which the American Jewish Conference had to create a united American Jewry had there been “moderation” on the Jewish Commonwealth issue. “Considerations of expediency and diplomacy night well have urged moderation as the sole guarantee of the obviously tenuous unity,” he declared, “but numbers and passions prevailed. By an overwhelming majority the entire extreme-theory and program were approved.”

Pointing out that “today as a result we have a division in American Israel were pronounced and intolerant, and with issues and antagonism more clearly and aggressively defined than ever before,” Dr. Morgenstern emphasized that unity in American Judaism can best be achieved “under the processes of intergration of Jewish tradition, in its widest implications, with the American way of life, of Judaism with Americanism.” To this intergration, he said, every Jew and every Jewish group in America must conform.

Dr. Morgenstern expressed the belief that “those who advocated ‘cultural pluralism,’ who would build up a Jewish civilization the roots of which are ever in Palestine, are who claim that thereby they are bringing forth a, or even the, true American Judaism, are deluding themselves and their followers with specious words and dangerous doctrines, dangerous for Judaism and Americanism.”


Touching upon the question of anti-Semitism in the United States, the president of the Hebrew Union College said: “The United States is almost the only nation of the western world which has never known legal discrimination and persecution of Jews or of the Jewish people, but has instead consistently safeguarded their rights as full and unconditioned citizens. True, there have been and are anti-Jewish discriminations and anti-Semitic impulses and movements in America. The American people is quick in its prejudices and passions, and these are easily exploited by organized and conscienceless interests. But there has never been in this nation a recognized anti- Semitic party nor has anti-Semitic sentiment or action ever received governement sanction.

“Undoubtedly there is at this very moment, the result of war-passions and attendant circumstances, more of anti-Semitism in America than at any moment in its history. But, correspondingly, never has there been so much philo-Semitism, as it may well be called; and certainly never has this phile-Semitism been so well organized and so militant in its defense of the Jew and of his rights as American citizen,” Dr. Morgenstern stated.

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