HOUSTON, Texas (Mar. 13)
The four-day 14th annual national conference of the American Council for Judaism opened here tonight with George L. Levinson. vice-president of the organization, delivering the keynote address. A message from President Eisenhower hailing as a “real contribution to the forces of freedom” the ACJ efforts to “apply the universal values of the Jewish faith to the problems of the day” was read to the several hundred delegates assembled here from all over the country.
Mr. Levinson, once a State Department officer, urged American Jews to “break out of the Zionist pattern” and follow the Council’s way. “There is no compromise possible,” he declared, “between the Jewish nationalist. Zionist position and ours. Judaism will be a universal religion or it will be a tribalism.”
Granting that the State of Israel was now a fact of history, Mr. Levinson said: “We can see hope for a normal Israel, whose nationalism, national rights and obligations are confined to its own citizens; an Israel no longer commissioning a world-wide Zionist movement to organize its immigration, to supply it with political lobbies, to mobilize its fiscal needs, to dispense its national culture.” He called specifically for:
I. A “clean and clear break with Zionist-dominated institutions, ” though, he added, “we have no intention of cutting ourselves off from the traditions of Judaism or from other Jews. “
2. Continue to “analyze, expose and disclose the “Jewish” nationalist program and the ineffectiveness of non-Zionist’ strategy.”
3. Greater energy than ever before in the field of public affairs, particularly in advocating that Israel and American Jews “free themselves from their Zionist leadership. “
4. Expanded efforts in the field of religious education, to create “institutions where the universalities of Judaism may be taught and where we may give them more meaningful expression in our American lives. “