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American Council for Judaism Adopts $500,000 Budget for 1959 Programs

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The American Council for Judaism, concluding last night its 15th annual convention, adopted a $500,000 budget for its programs in the fields of religion, public affairs and philanthropy. Clarence L. Coleman, Jr. , was re-elected president and Lessing J.Rosenwald was re-named chairman of the board.

In a series of resolutions, the Council charged that some American Jewish organizations were attempting “to transform the status of American Jews into an ethnic community,” and urged the Jews of this country “to examine their personal commitments to institutions and organizations in order to determine that these institutions and programs clearly reflect the aspirations of their supporters.”

Another resolution called on American Jews to “de-Zionize” their relations with Israel and Jews in other countries. This must be done, the resolution noted, “in order for American Jews to discharge their obligations of charity and feeling of fellowship with Jews of other countries.”

Meanwhile, Milton J. Silberman, chairman of the American Zionist Council in Chicago and head of the Illinois Conference of Jewish Organizations, charged today that the Council for Judaism had “again sought to cloud the atmosphere with mis-statements and distortions of the sentiments of American Jewry. He underlined that the ACJ had a membership of 20,000 and compared it with the 750,000 American Jewish Zionists. A similar statement was issued by Rabbi Harold P. Smith, president of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, who also pointed out that the ACJ “represents numerically an infinitesimal fraction of American Jewry.”

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