The twenty-fourth annual convention of the Agudath Ha’rabonim, the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, opened at the Kensington Gardens Hotel in Far Rockaway on Tuesday in the presence of 200 Rabbis, delegates to the convention.
The first session was taken up with the addresses of Rabbi Israel Rosenberg, chairman of the Executive Committee of the Union, and Rabbi Ezekiel Lipshitz of Kalisch, president of the Union of Polish Rabbis, who is the guest of the convention.
Rabbi Rosenberg in his address reviewed the activities of the Union during the past year. He pointed out that the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of America was the first organized body of rabbis in the world. This became necessary in America in 1902 because of conditions. Following this example, the rabbis of Poland organized into a union for the purpose of strengthening religious life.
Rabbi M. Z. Margolies welcomed the convention and Rabbi D. A. Levinthal of Philadelphia introduced Rabbi Lipshitz who is his cousin. Rabbi Lipshitz in his address described the conditions of the Jewish population in Poland and stated that 90 per cent of the Jewish population are on the verge of ruin. Credit is needed more than charity, he stated.
A resolution was adopted that “it is the duty of every Jew who is not a recipient of charity himself to contribute to the relief funds for East European Jews.”
Rabbi Lipshitz also declared that of the 3,000,000 Jews in the Republic of Poland, 2,500,000 adhere to Orthodox traditions. He deplored the fact that because of the dire economic need, many Orthodox Jews are compelled to send their children to the secular Yiddish schools where, he charged, hatred of Orthodox traditions is being implanted in the youth.
Some excitement was caused at the convention when a resolution was submitted by Rabbi Levinthal of Philadelphia, to exclude Rabbi Friedman from membership in the Union. It was charged that Rabbi Friedman, in a published leaflet, attacked Rabbi A. I. Kook, chief rabbi of Palestine. This resolution was accepted.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.