Menu JTA Search

Actions Committee Opens Session; Hears Goldmann on Future of Zionism

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

The future of the world Zionist movement is in “serious jeopardy,” unless Zionism changes its structure and establishes itself “as a unified fighting force, becoming again the ideological leader of the Jewish people,” Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, warned here tonight. He issued this caution in his presidential address to the opening session of the meeting of the WZO Actions Committee, highest policy-making body between sessions of the World Zionist Congress.

“Without Israel desiring and doing everything to strengthen the movement,” Dr. Goldmann told the session, “Zionism cannot regain its authority in Jewish life. Other and perhaps more important conditions that must be fulfilled, to enable the Zionist movement to meet the great tasks of the situation, are change in structure, and the courage to do away with old procedures and attitudes.”

Stating that a strong, worldwide Zionist organization is “unthinkable without a strong Zionist movement in America, the leading Jewish community in the world,” Dr. Goldmann lauded the “splendid solidarity within American Jewry.” as shown in United States Jewry’s contributions toward Jewish relief and toward Israel. Then he cited what he termed “inherent weaknesses,” in American Jewish life which he identified as “potential dangers.” These, he said, include:

1. The lack of an overall representative organization of American Jewry, resulting in overlapping, waste of manpower and money and the impossibility of really effective action.

2. The growing danger of rigid bureaucratization, with a vast army of professional officials who tend to determine policies purely from the organizational point of view. He stressed the need to add to the community leadership of more intellectual and spiritual leadership.

NEXT STORY