Conference of Jewish Organizations in British Commonwealth Opens in London

A conference of representatives of Jewish organizations from all countries of the British Commonwealth opened here today to consider the problems of Jews in the United Kingdom and the British Dominions as well as the relations of Jews in those countries with Israel. The parley was called by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Besides the questions of relations with Israel and the promotion of relations among the Jewish communities in the various Commonwealth nations, the agenda includes a discussion on strengthening Jewish religious values, combating anti-Semitism any-where in the world, defending Jewish rights everywhere and providing care for Jewish war orphans.

The conference was formally opened with an invocation by British Chief Rabbi Israel Brodie after which Dr. Abraham Cohen, president of the British Board of Deputies, in his opening address, commented on the British Government’s interest in the Commonwealth conference as evidenced by the presence of Lord Ogmore, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Commonwealth Relations.

Dr. Cohen also expressed deep concern over renewed manifestations of Nazism on the Continent, particularly in Germany and Austria. Finally, he stressed that the “re-creation of the state of Israel has opened a new epoch in the long history of the Jewish people” and that the Commonwealth conference would give serious consideration to problems bearing upon the relations between Israel and the rest of Jewry.

Lord Ogmore, who as Lt. Col. David Rees-Williams was Undersecretary for Colonies, welcomed the representatives from the Commonwealth nations and those from the United States who for the first time were present at a function of the British Board of Deputies whose history, he pointed out, dates back to 1760. He added that it was most important these days that friends come from all parts of the Commonwealth “to help us realize the brotherhood they represent.”

Frank Goldman, president of the B’nai B’rith, who is attending the parley, spoke of the “happy relations” between the Board of Deputies and B’nai B’rith with in the Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations. He stressed the importance of coordinating the fight against discrimination since “whenever minority rights are violated and endangered, the rights of all human beings are violated and endangered.” In reference to the Korean situation, the American leader declared that Jews always side with democracy and oppose totalitarianism.

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