The 22nd annual convention of the Federation of Polish Jews, which opened Saturday night, May 10, at the Pythian Temple in the presence of 1,500 delegates and guests from many cities in the United States and Canada, closed Sunday night, May 11, with a dinner for the delegates, after adopting a series of resolutions for the welfare of the Jews in Poland.
Benjamin Winter, the president of the Federation, expressed in his message the determination to pursue the policy to free Polish Jewry from the unbearable economic and political burdens. “There is no doubt whatever that the Polish Republic takes due note of us and our doings,” he said. “It takes note of us because tens of thousands of us are united for the one objective, to see that the rights of the Jews in Poland shall not be disregarded.”
Z. Tygel, the executive director, pointed out in his report the growth of the Federation all over the country and that all are willing to do practical work for the three million suffering Jews in Poland.
The conference was then greeted by Louis Lipsky, president of the Zionist Organization of America; Alexander Kahn, in the name of the Joint Distribution Committee; Abraham Herman, in the name of the Hias; James Rosenberg for the Allied Jewish Campaign; B. Richards for the American Jewish Congress, and several others.
The convention greeted with great enthusiasm the announcement made by Philip Wattenberg, president of the Federation of Galician Jews, that his federation is ready to join the Federation of Polish Jews in order to work together for the welfare of the Jews in Poland. A committee of both federations was appointed to work out the plan for the amalgamation.
After reciting the many acts of injustice and discrimination practiced against the Jews of Poland at the present time, the convention unanmiously adopted the following resolution:
“We do hereby express our strongest protest against the acts of injustice committed against our fellow-Jews in Poland, and our earnest belief that all the sundry discriminations enumerated above should long since have been abolished in Poland, a country that has suffered for a period of 150 years under the galling yoke of Russian Czarism, that despite our deep satisfaction with the spirit of friendship displayed to us by the representatives of the Polish government in America, for which we are duly grateful, we can not possibly overlook the fact that the semi-official promises made to us with regard to the calling of a conference between the representatives of the Polish government and the Jews, together with the representatives of American Jewry, has been unduly delayed, and that it is our earnest hope that such a conference will be called as speedily as possible, so that the vexing Jewish problem in Poland shall be definitely solved, for the welfare not only of the Jews of Poland but for the welfare of Poland as a whole.”
The convention then decided to transmit the resolution to the Polish Ambassador in Washington and to have the Canadian branches of the Federation submit it to the representatives of Poland in their country for them to cable it to the Polish Government.
Sunday morning’s sessions were taken up mostly with plans and discussions concerning future activities. Mr. Tygel reported that he submitted a memorandum about the situation of the Jews in Poland to the newly-appointed Ambassador from the United States to Poland, John Willys, before he left to assume his post there.
The main feature of the closing sessions was an address by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, which made a tremendous impression upon the gathering. Rabbi Wise spoke about the situation of Jews the world-over and particularly in Poland. He pointed out that time of humiliating mediation is long past and that Jews everywhere are to point out to governments the wrongs committed against them and demand to be treated on basis of equality. “Not MacDonald, neither Luke, nor any other head of a country, will solve our problems or determine our fate, but the determination of the Jews themselves, Rabbi Wise said. He then announced that he intends to visit Poland this summer for the first time in order to acquaint himself with the Jews in that country.
Among the other resolutions are: (1) To come into contact with federations of Polish Jews in other countries, especially in Argentine and England, in order to create united front for the protection of the Jews in Poland; (2) To support the Hias and the Ort; (3) To protest against attempts at alien registration; (4) To support the Allied Jewish Campaign; (5) To greet the Zionist leader Nahum Sokolow on the occasion of his 70th birthday now celebrated by World Jewry.
Benjamin Winter was reelected as president and Z. Tygel as executive-director. Jacob Leichtman was elected as treasurer. The vice-presidents are: Philip Wattenberg, Solomon Rosenfeld, Abraham Harris, Alfred Rosenstein, Herman Oberman and J. Stofsky. Honorary vice-presidents are: Charles Green and J. Glatstein. Provincial vice-presidents are: H. Tuch, Pittsburgh; Dr. Putnam, Boston; and A. Wolofsky, Montreal. The new executive will consist of two members from each society of the federation.
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.