BOSTON (Nov. 24)
A resolution reaffirming the objectives of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds with regard to coordination in the field of Jewish community relations, and endorsing the action taken at the Atlantic City plenum of the National Community Relations Advisory Council last September, was adopted here last night at the concluding session of the 21st General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds.
These objectives were: Continuous reassessment of community relations programs; integrated planning, including logical and practical division of labor; strengthening of NCRAC as the instrument of voluntary cooperation; and an improved system of financing related to evaluation of the needs of the entire field.
The resolution further urged the American Jewish Committee and the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defemation League to “rejoin the cooperative process which is the N.C.R.A.C., ” and instructed the C.J.F.W.F. national-local relations committee or a special committee to “work with all of the national agencies and the N.C.R.A.C. for the reestablishment of full cooperation within the framework” of the objectives outlined in the resolution. Emphasis was placed on keeping the door open for efforts to bring about such reaffiliation.
This “shall in no way involve compulsion by N.C.R.A.C. or the creation of the N.C.R.A.C. as an authoritarian body or infringe upon the autonomy of N.C.R.A.C. member agencies or their right of dissent, ” the resolution declared. It also stated that agencies voting in the minority should have the right to act on their own decisions.
Prior to the passage of this resolution, which was recommended by the resolutions committee, a substitute resolution brought to the floor by a minority group within the resolutions committee was rejected by a vote of 126 1/2 to 46,with 40 1/2 abstentions. it stated that an effort should be “made to find a common ground for the reconstitution of the NCRAC, “and called for appointment of a committee to work with the agencies and the NCRAC for “the reestablishment of a full cooperation, ” but without the reaffirmation of the objectives and framework set forth in the resolution finally adopted here.
In a joint statement Jacob Blaustein, president of the American Jewish Committee, and Frank Goldman, president of B’nai B’rith, later asserted that the action taken here “can only serve to aggravate the situation that has unfortunately developed in this field.”
Another major resolution passed by the Assembly urged the new national Administration and the 83rd Congress “to give prompt attention to the need for revision of the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952 (McCarran Walter Act) in order to bring American immigration policy into harmony with American democratic concepts.”
This resolution urged the elimination of discriminatory features of the act, as well as the deportation provisions except in cases of fraudulent or illegal entry. The resolution also called for the provision of adequate appellate procedures in immigration and naturalization cases, establishment of a visa review board, and equality under the law for both native and naturalized citizens.
In other nations, the Assembly reaffirmed its gratitude to the U.S. Government for its continued assistance to Israel through grants-in-aid and technical assistance and cited the need for immediate cash payment on philanthropic pledges to meet “pressing needs, overseas and at home.” Julian Freeman of Indianapolis was reelected president of the Council for 1953.