NEW ORLEANS (Nov. 14)
The future well-being of the American Jewish community is interwoven with the constant defense of the free institutions of the country, at home and in the world. Dr. Abba Hillel Silver declared here today at the opening session of the General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. More than 1, 000 Jewish community leaders from all parts of the United States and Canada are attending the four-day conference here.
“To insure the future of the American Jewish community, it is imperative, in the first instance, to insure, through our constant vigilance, individually and collectively in cooperation with all Americans of goodwill, the future of the tree institutions of our beloved country and the Bill of Rights of all of its citizens, “Dr. Silver declared, Every attack upon the constitution rights and the inalienable human rights of any or of all of our fellow citizens is in an especial sense, a threat to the security and stability of the American Jewish community.”
Pointing out that America is no longer “a distant land on the rim of a vast ocean, but is now the center of the world.” he said: “Politically, economically and culturally it is inextricably bound up with the fortunes of the old world. This makes it imperative that American moral and political values be defended if the nation and the free world are to survive.
Dr. Silver warned that if the American Jewish community isolated itself from the rest of world Jewry and from the spiritual and cultural past of Jewish traditions it will “disintegrate slowly or swiftly, as the case may be, but disintegrate it will. ” He emphasized that American Jews are dedicated to Americanism.
ANALYZES THE PROBLEMS CONFRONTING THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMUNITY
Turning to the long-range tasks of American Jews, Dr. Silver asserted that “the supreme and urgent” goal of the Jewish community should be the Jewish education of children and adults. He added that although much had been done in that direction in recent years much more needs to be done in the future.
“The problem confronting us is no longer Americanization, nor immigration nor even the pressing relief of our indigent poor, “Dr. Silver said. “The parallel problem today, over and above the proper maintenance of our welfare institutions and services, and of meeting our responsibilities to overseas needs and to Israel, is the problem of inner spiritual and cultural consolidation so as to insure for the future, not only the survival but also the effectiveness of our community. It is to achieve a pleasant and contented at-homeness within our community for our children and those who will follow them.”
Lauding the American Jewish community for its generosity and spirit in helping to bring about the emergence of the State of Israel, bringing hundreds of thousands of people to that country, our own and others, and in maintaining a wide network of local and national American Jewish welfare services, Dr. Silver urged the delegates to continue with this work.
“If we look well to the mainsprings of our life education and self-education, if our eyes remain steadfast in the direction of our eternal goals, if we do not isolate ourselves from world Jewry and from the possible sources of power and inspiration in reborn Israel, and if we remain actively mobilized to defend at all times the free institutions of our land, the American Jewish community may by the grace of God, go from strength to strength, and become in very truth a blessing to itself and to America,” he declared.