GENEVA (Jul. 8)
The plenary meeting of the World Conference of Jewish Organizations (Cojo) opened here last night and continued throughout the day in an atmosphere of nostalgia as its founder and chairman for the past 13 years, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, took his leave. The 76-year-old Jewish leader and statesman-at-large will be succeeded as chairman tomorrow by Dr. William Wexler of Atlanta. Ga., co-chairman of Cojo, president of B’nai B’rith and chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a body that also owes its founding to Goldmann, Slated for the co-chairmen posts are Louis A. Pincus, of Jerusalem, chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive and Dr. Joachim Prinz, of Orange, N. J., long an associate of Dr. Goldmann in the World Jewish Congress. Goldmann said in his parting remarks. “This body was founded 13 years ago. It was Philip Klutznick who joined me in founding it. At the time, I had slightly different ideas about its destiny than what it has proved to be. But I have no regrets about founding this body. It remains today a consultative and coordinating body. Nevertheless, it fulfills an important function in Jewish life and it makes for some order and regulation in a somewhat chaotic situation.”
Dr. Warder paid tribute to his predecessor. “We have had our differences sometimes but at all times there was genuine and good cooperation between the chairman and all of us,” he said. “Dr. Goldmann is not only the founder and chief architect of Cojo, he is also the founder of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. We will continue to look at him for guidance and advice.” Monroe Abbey, of the Canadian Jewish Congress, also praised Goldmann, who he said was “more than a chairman, he was a guide and a mentor.” Goldmann did not respond. He rose and walked slowly out of the hall, closing a chapter in his long career of Jewish leadership.
Pincus, chairing Cojo’s commission on Jewish education, presented his report today. He said, “We have an educational task to fulfill. It must be said here that What the Jewish people as a whole and the organizations within. Cojo in particular spend on Jewish education in the diaspora is a drop in the sea in relation to the need.” He said his commission would “look at Jewish education as a total problem, propound ideas and offer guidance.” He announced the selection of Chaim Zohar, a former Israeli Consul in the U.S. as the executive officer of the education commission. The 11 organizations comprising Cojo and represented at the plenary meeting are the American Jewish Congress; B’nai B’rith; the Board of Deputies of British Jews; the Canadian Jewish Congress the French Consistory; the DAIA, central representative body of Argentine Jewry; the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the Jewish Labor Committee; the South African Jewish Board of Deputies; the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization.