With an attendance of more than five hundred persons, of whom 223 are delegates representing 143 lodges, the Independent Order Brith Sholom formally opened its twenty-fourth annual convention at the Garden Theatre here Sunday afternoon. Since the full number of delegates designated to this convention is 327, an additional number are expected here Monday and Tuesday, Martin O. Levy, grand secretary, announced.
The greater part of the Sunday session was devoted to a memorial service for the late grand master, Solomon C. Kraus and his wife, Eva Mayer Kraus, both of whom died during the past year, and the reading of the acting grand master’s message by A. Sigmund Kanengieser, of Newark.
Mr. Kanengieser reported that the “order is now officially classified as being in the ‘millionaire class’ of fraternal organizations since our reserves have passed the million dollar mark. We have every reason to feel right proud and rejoice in this splendid achievement.
“I am indeed sorry that our net figures for the year fail to record an increase in membership,” further declared Mr. Kanengieser, “yet an analysis of the condition serves to indicate that its chief cause is the unfortunate economic depressions manifesting themselves in various parts of the country.
“It seems to me that the most important work before this convention is that of seeking ways and means to increase the membership of the order and to this end I direct your undivided thought and attention.”
Mr. Kanengieser also recommended increased women’s membership in the order, development of junior organizations for the Jewish youth and additional funds for the scholarship fund of the Order. In line with the latter recommendation. George Beldoc, president of Blumberg Lodge, of Brooklyn, on behalf of the lodge. presented a check for $750 to go to this fund.
The acting grand master further recommended continued support for Jewish religious education and for Zionist endeavor.
Among the speakers who addressed the convention were Bernard G. Richards, executive secretary of the American Jewish congress; Daniel De Pryer, representing the city administration; Louis E. Levinthal, of Philadelphia, an executive board member of this Order and Charles J. Weiss, editor of the “Brith Sholom News.” Mr. Weiss was appointed head of the resolutions committee and Judge Leopold Glass, head of committee on grand master’s message. Rabbi M. Shapiro. of Atlantic City. delivered the opening prayer. The service of late Grand Master Kraus to the Order were eulogized and an engrossed (Continued on Page 4)
The convention is calm and no factionalism is apparent. It is believed that the only strife will come up during the election of grand master and from all indications the opposing candidates will be Mr. Kanengieser and Judge William M. Lewis of Philadelphia. Considerable discussion also is expected over a proposed amendment to the constitution that the grand master shall serve only two years.
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.