Neumann Elected President of Zionist Organization of America at 50th Convention
Menu JTA Search

Neumann Elected President of Zionist Organization of America at 50th Convention

Download PDF for this date

Emanuel Neumann was today elected national president of the Zionist Organization of America, after the 50th annual convention of the (##) had beaten down a move to postpone elections until discussion of the political is (##) before the meeting had been completed. He succeeds Dr. Abba Hillel Silver.

Rabbi Irving Miller was named chairman of the National Administrative Council, and Mortimer May, of Nashville, and Jacob Richman, of Philadelphia, vice-chairman and secretary of the Council, respectively. The following national vice-presidents were (##): Rabbi Leon Feur of Toledo; Daniel Frisch of New York, Abraham Goldstein of (##), Abraham Goodman of Miami, Abraham Redelheim of Brooklyn, Bernard Rosenblatt of New York, Charles J. Rosenbloom of Pittsburgh and Eliahu D. Stone of Boston.

James G. McDonald, former League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (##)ne-time member of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine, told (##)onvention earlier that “national self-interest quite as much as common honesty (##)re that the British and we should expedite the fulfillment of the Jewish dream Palestine.” He added that “the obsession of British and American experts with (##) politik’ does not even have the justification of being sound from a selfish (##)ish or American point of view; it is not merely immoral, it is unrealistic and (##) defeating.”

Judge Morris Rothenberg, head of the American Jewish National Fund, reported that American Jews have donated some $14,000,000 to the J. N. F. during the past nine (##)hs. He sharply criticized the Palestine Government’s interfarence with the Jews’ (##)pts to reclaim and cultivate the Negev. Rendering an account of the J. N. F. ‘s (##)evements during the past three years, he revealed that it had transferred (##),000,000 to the parent body in Palestine in that period. The J. N. F. also providen (##) for founding 24 colonies in the three years and defrayed a considerable part of (##) expenses of their establishment, he said. Referring to the setting up of 12 new (##)lements in the Negev last October, in a dawn-to-dusk period, he called it a (##)ld proclaimed pioneering saga.”


Addressing the opening session of the conference last night, Dr. Silver called {SPAN}(##){/SPAN} United States to take the lead in finding a just solution of the Palestine problem. He said that Secretary of State George C. Marshall’s statement to a group {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}ongressional leaders earlier this week, to the effect that the U.S. traditional {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}cy on Palestine had not been changed, was “gratifying,” but called for a more {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}tive declaration of policy to allay apprehensions concerning the American Government’s position.

Describing the government’s attitude at this time as “tight-lipped,” and charg(##) that no one was sure of where it stood, he declared that “if America continues to (##)in in Britain’s corner” all recommendations of the United Nations will be “utter(##)comed.” He expressed fear that Britain and the U.S. would come up with a new ver(##) of the British plan to “federalize” Palestine into autonomous areas under a Britain dominated central authority. He also voiced his opposition to partition.

Referring to Andrei Gromyko’s speech at the special session of the U.N. General Assembly in May, he said that the Soviet Union’s position was “a positive and sub(##)ntial gain for our movement.”

Continuing his review of the political situation in Palestine, Dr. Silver(##)ted that the Z.O.A. has never recognized the rights of dissident groups to carry (##) ressistance activities in defiance of national discipline. But, he insisted, “we (##) urged that a way should be found to coordinate the activities of all elements in Palestine who are determined to resist the iniquitous regime of the White Paper.” In his report on the state of the Zionist movement in this country, he said that “American Jewry today is overwhelmingly Zionist.”


Dr. Neumann, who spoke after Dr. Silver, scouted the charge that the Zionist movement was anti-British. Nonetheless, he asserted, “a sense of political realism should reconcile the British Foreign Office to the fact that American Zionism will continue to offer political resistance to any plans or proposals which would defeat the aims of Zionism.”

Reporting on the activities of the American Zionist Emergency Council, Harry (##) Shapiro, executive director, stated that the U. S. Congress had demonstrated that it is not prepared to let the Palestine issue rest with the passage of pro-Zionist resolutions. He asserted that leaders of both parties have shown that they mean to (##) these resolutions translated into action. He pointed out that the Council has (##) active in “counteracting the falsehoods and misrepresentations spread by Arab (##) pro-Arab propagandists in this country,” who are backed in part by certain oil (##)penies and anti-Zionist elements in the State Department.

Aaron Wright, head of the British section of the J. N. F., who followed Judge (##)henberg, rounded out the picture of J. N. F. activities in Palestine. He maintained that the Arab population has grown most rapidly in the areas where the J. N. F. has (##) most active in acquiring land. He urged American Jews to invest in house building in Palestine, both as an investment and as an aid to relieving the housing short(##) in that country.

Mendel Fisher, executive director of the J. N. F. in this country, reported that the parent body has purchased some 900,000 dunams (225,000 acres) of the (##),000,000 dunams of land in Palestine. Since the inception of the J. N. F. 45 years ago, American Jews have supplied 51.8 percent of the organization’s world income, he (##)ated.

Dr. Harris Levine, chairman of the ZOA committee on J. N. F. activities, announced that the ZOA would acquire 50,000 dunams of land in Palestine to commemorate its (##)den Jubilee anniversary.

Earlier in the day, special Independence Day exercises were held at the con(##)tion. Speakers included Albert D. Schanzer, co-chairman of the ZOA War Veterans committee, and Benjamin Kaufman, Past National Commander of the Jewish War Veterans (##) the U.S., representing the present head, Milton H. Richman.

Progressive Zionist District 95 of New York has been suspended by the Z.O.A. for requesting a separate hearing before the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, it was announced yesterday. Dr. Morris Zucker, president of the suspended (##)trict, declared: “Whatever the pretext given for this suspension the real reason (##) that those in control of the Zionist movement do not dare stand up in open demo(##)tic debate to defend the political tactics over the years which have led to the (##)ment stalemate in Palestine.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund