Goldmann Urges Jewish Congress to Develop Younger Leadership

The World Jewish Congress must start looking toward younger leadership at the helm of the organization’s global activities, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the WJC, warned here last night. He voiced that caution in addressing the delegates to the WJC’s fifth plenary assembly, which closed 10 days of sessions after reelecting Dr. Goldmann as president and two other leaders as vice-presidents. The latter are Samuel Bronfman, of Canada, and Lord Sieff, of Britain.

“Those elected,” Dr. Goldmann said, “are almost all of an age which makes us ask: Who will eventually take over? We must bring in the young, even if they criticize or even if they are impatient with us–as young people are bound to do. The Congress today, after 30 years, is as necessary as it always was.”

In his address, which was the final business of the meeting, Dr. Goldmann declared: “We must go home, satisfied that we had a successful assembly. But we must also be aware of the dangers looming in this day and age. There are dangers of assimilation, and other internal problems. But there are also other dangers from the outside. Dark forces are trying to raise their heads again. We must be watchful and ready to fight for Jewish rights and Jewish freedom as before.”

Among the resolutions adopted prior to adjournment was one naming Hebrew, for the first time, as one of the official languages of the WJC. Until now, only Yiddish, English and French were recognized as the Congress official languages.

Two of the major resolutions adopted by the Congress–one of them dealing with Israel-Arab relations, the other with relations between the Jews and Germany–were picked out for open reservations by some of the delegations. On behalf of Mapam, Avraham Schenker, of New York, noted that his group abstained on the Israel-Arab resolution because no mention had been made of the “courageous voices in the Arab world, calling for realism and peace negotiations with Israel.” For Herut, Solomon Friedrich voiced an objection to the declaration regarding Jewish-German relations.

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