U.S. Zionists Fighting Assimilation, Delegates Report in Jerusalem

The question of how to strengthen the World Zionist movement continued to be the center of debate here today at the session of the Zionist Actions Committee.

Zalman Shazar, former member of the Israel Cabinet, announced a decision to set up a Zionist “brain trust” consisting of approximately 50 Zionist thinkers and writers who will meet in Jerusalem in August and will try to determine “scientifically” the reasons for the present decline in the Zionist movement. They will also outline new methods for increased Zionist activities.

American delegates, including Mrs. Rose Halprin, said that the Zionist movement in the United States is fighting assimilation among Jews and is trying to give the Jewish youth a Zionist education. They insisted that methods of Zionist propaganda and education for the United States must be left to the American Zionists to determine. Dr. Emanuel Neumann said that American Jewry gave great leaders to the Zionist movement and will continue to do so. He said a new Zionist strategy is needed.

Eliahu Dobkin, member of the Jewish Agency executive, said that the Zionist Actions Committee still has a great future. He opposed those who are of the opinion that the Zionist movement is displaying a trend towards liquidation. The Mapam leader Bar Yehuda similarly called for the dismissal of any “liquidation” talks and urged promotion of a stronger Chalutzim movement and mutual tolerance between the various Zionist groups.

Religious delegates to the meeting maintained that Zionist education is possible only where Orthodox education is available and where Jewish youths are educated in a Jewish spirit. Dr. Itzhak Gruenbaum said that the present crisis in the Zionist Organization resulted from the fact that the latter was unable to “adequately assist Israel, as expected.”

Zalman Aranne, Mapai leader, appealed to the Actions Committee not to disregard other Jewish organizations assisting Israel in its need. “We all hope Israel will stand on its own feet in a couple of years,” he said, “but until then, let everybody who can and who desires, help the state and let the Zionist Organization be the pioneer force mobilizing all forces in the nation to aid Israel.”

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