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Raprochement Between American Jewish Committee and Congress Sought

May 21, 1929
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A joint conference of the American Jewish Congress and American Jewish Committee was proposed in a resolution adopted at the second day session of the convention of the American Jewish Congress. The resolution recommends the appointment of a Joint Committee “which Committee shall arrange for an early conference of representatives of the American Jewish Congress and American Jewish Committee to the end that sorely needed unity of action with respect to Jewish problems may be effected and present and potential causes of discord in Jewish life be thus averted.”

B. Shelvin of the “Jewish Morning Journal,” in supporting the resolution pointed out that there had existed a parallel situation in England with the Anglo-Jewish Association and the Board of Jewish Deputies, both working independently in foreign affairs. The two organizations, he said, had effected an agreement creating the Joint Foreign Committee which now more effectively deals with foreign issues than either had been able to do independently.

Another resolution which was adopted put the Congress on record as “emphatically opposing any change or revision of the calendar which shall in any way affect the fixity of the Jewish Sabbath.” Opposition to this resolution was voiced by Mr. Dingol, one of the Labor representatives who declared that the Congress, not being a religious body was not warranted in dealing with this question. A warm discussion was aroused in which delegates, answering Mr. Dingol, contended that the American Jewish Congress while not a religious organization stood for Jewish rights. From that point of view it was permissible for the Congress to take a stand on this question.

Another delegate declared that the proposed change of calendar could be attacked from economic grounds as well, contending that the “thirteen month calendar meant added hardship to the poor in that it meant thirteen payments of rent instead of the current twelve per year.” The resolution condemning the change of calendar was adopted by a large majority.

Two resolutions dealing with the question of discrimination were adopt- (Continued on Page 8)

The second resolution of the same type dealt with discrimination in the economic life. This too, provided for the appointment of a Commission to make a survey of the situation. Supporting this resolution, H. J. Smith, of the Electrical Workers Association declared that serious discriminatory practices prevail as to Jews in the building industry in New York City.

Another resolution presented by Jacob L. Warkow, delegate of the United Emergency Committee for the Relief of Jews in Bessarabia called upon American Jewry to support the various relief drives. In connection with that resolution a special appeal was made in behalf of Bessarabian Jews. It was requested that all contributions to this fund be sent in care of the Congress.

The final resolution adopted at the morning session gave the endorsement of the Congress to the Haym Salomon Memorial project and called upon all affiliated organizations to lend aid to the project of a memorial to the Jewish patriot of the revolution.

Nathan D. Perlman, in his address, attacked the present policy of immigration as being un-American. Mr. Perlman also voiced an appeal for the humanizing of the existing immigration statutes.

“The National Origins Plan of the Immigration Act of 1924 violates American ideals,” said Congressman Perlman, “and is contrary to the principles upon which our country is founded. This creates class distinction. The proponent of the National Origins Plan would have it appear that there is a Nordic superiority and that America belongs to the Nordics. The establishment of a National Origins Plan would lead to the establishment in America of the so-called Nordic superiority class and an inferior class, those who were not born in Northern Europe or cannot trace their ancestry back to the Nordics. It is necessary to enlighten the American people to the end that the propaganda of Nordic superiority may not further, by a legislative enactment or otherwise, deliver this country to one group. America belongs to all of its people and irrespective of race, creed or color. America was made great as it is today by all of the immigrants that entered our shores since the birth of America.

“We favor further, humanizing of the immigration Law so that dependent parents of American citizens and all husbands of American citizens may come immediately to this country, irrespective of quotas. We favor further, legalizing the stay of aliens who entered the United States prior to July 1, 1924.”

A plea for the establishment of a Jewish university in America was voiced at the morning session in a paper submitted by Rabbi Louis I. Newman of San Francisco. In Rabbi Newman’s absence, the paper was read by Max Rhoade, Avukah president.

“I believe.” wrote Dr. Newman, “that a university should be founded by Jews open to all students regardless of race and creed and maintained by Jewish endowment. This should be a liberal college, teaching the humanities and as necessary, in time a university for the professions. The location should be preferably in Westchester County. Within the past decade the Jewish student enrollment at Eastern colleges has increased tremendously. While Jews are scattering themselves more and more in the non-metropolitan universities, nevertheless concentration of nearly two million Jews in New York City and of nearly three million on the Atlantic seaboard makes the foundation of a Jewish university both necessary and beneficial.”

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