GREENFIELD PARK, N.Y. (Nov. 25)
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, criticized tonight those American Jews “who neither see the necessity for worldwide united action nor the vital importance of internationally organized and systematical efforts to overcome the dangers threatening us.”
Dr. Goldmann spoke at the Mid-Winter Conclave of the National Council of Young Israel. He told the delegates American Jewry was doing “a great Job in giving philanthropic aid and in helping Israel but is not living up to its task in understanding the character of the Jewish problem of today which cannot be solved by philanthropical approaches.”
He called American Jewry “the most over-organized and therefore disorganized Jewish community in the world, lacking even a common platform where the great problems of American Jewish life could be discussed together.”
“There is nothing more important than to make American Jewry aware of its responsibility as the largest and most powerful Jewish community in the world in taking care of its problem’s in an overall organized and representative framework on the one hand and Joining international action together with other Jewish communities on the basis of equality in defending the position and future of the Jewish people all over the world,” he declared.
He cited as dangers threatening the position of many Jewish communities throughout the world the renewed symptoms of a brutal anti-Semitism and the socially unstable position of many countries which are in a pre-revolutionary situation and which may destroy the economic position of flourishing Jewish communities. He also cited the problem of Soviet Russian Jewry.
He warned that “all these factors threatening our future will remain alive and powerful for many years and decades. Therefore, the major task in Jewish life is to make the Jewish people aware of this real situation and do away with their illusions and inclinations to regard their future as secure and take their problems very easy.”
Colonel Shlomo Goren, Chief Chaplain of the Israeli Defense Forces, told the delegates that one of the most inspiring developments in Israel was a “tremendous and growing interest in religion” among its young people. “However, while this need to relate to Jewish religious practices is manifest among large segments of our young, there is no single group in Israel that is making a concerted and organized effort to reach these young people,” he stated. He said that the problem in Israel could be met by establishing centers, patterned after the Young Israel in America, in such cities as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa.