Lehman Nominated for New York Governor; Would Be First Jew to Hold This Office
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Lehman Nominated for New York Governor; Would Be First Jew to Hold This Office

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Lieutenant Governor Herbert H. Lehman, noted Jewish philanthropist, civic and communal leader, last night became the first Jew ever to be nominated for the post of governor of New York State by the Democratic party and, if elected, will be the first Jew to hold this high office in New York State.

Colonel Lehman was nominated by acclamation after a stormy two day battle concerning his candidacy, based not on his personal fitness for the office, but on the score which Tammany Hall has against Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, Democratic presidential nominee, whose choice Colonel Lehman is.

Colonel Lehman, who is serving his second term as Lieutenant Governor, his first and only political office, had as his principal supporters former Governor Alfred E. Smith and Governor Roosevelt, who for the first time since the Democratic national convention, united to battle the cause of his nomination.

Tammany Hall, angered because of Governor Roosevelt’s ouster proceedings against Mayor James J. Walker, which led to the latter’s resignation, yielded last night after numerous conferences because the tide of popular favor for Lehman became so strong that even Tammany’s adherents threatened to rebel and swing to the Lehman standard.

Colonel Lehman’s name was placed before the convention by former Governor Alfred E. Smith. An address approving the choice was later delivered by Governor Roosevelt, while Colonel Lehman himself delivered a short acceptance speech, in which he said:

“I realize to the fullest the confidence you have reposed in me, and I embrace with full knowledge of its responsibility the opportunity of further service to the State. I pledge to you that I will not fail the people of the State or my party which has just honored me in choosing me as its standard bearer.”

John F. Curry, leader of Tammany Hall, in an effort to avoid being charged with religious prejudice offered the name of Borough president Samuel Levy of Manhattan as a counter choice to Colonel Lehman.

A Jew, it is stated, according to the Forward, was among the principals supporting Tammany’s stand against Mr. Lehman. In this connection Max D. Steuer of New York is mentioned by the paper. Mr. Steuer’s stand with Tammany Hall, it is alleged, was due to jealousy, having himself coveted the nomination and again was the price he was willing to pay in order to secure the endorsement of Tammany for the candidacy of his son, Aaron for Supreme Court Justice. The paper also mentions that Aaron Steuer is married to a Catholic.

The selection of Colonel Lehman has met with unusually wide acclaim in the press, where editorials praising the qualities he is able to bring to high office are published.

Colonel Lehman who is fifty-four years old and a native of New York City where he was born on March 28, 1878, comes from a distinguished Jewish family. A brother, Judge Irving Lehman has served on the bench of New York State courts since 1908. For fourteen years Judge Irving Lehman sat on the Supreme Court Bench, being elected for a four year term in 1923 by nomination of both parties and again by nomination of both parties, he was elected an Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals to serve until 1938.

Colonel Lehman came to his first political office in 1928 after achieving a wide reputation which reached across the Atlantic as philanthropist and a Jew to whom nothing affecting the welfare of the Jewish people was alien.

In the four years since he first assumed office, he has achieved through his public acts, a reputation for progress and humane leadership. The complex character of his duties which have frequently called upon him to act as Governor of the State have not caused Colonel Lehman to give up his affiliations with local, national and international endeavor.

In 1930, Colonel Lehman was awarded the Zeta Beta Thau medal as the Jew who has done most for Jewry and Judaism.

Colonel Lehman was one of the organizers of the Joint Distribution Committee which has spent close to $100,000,000 in relief and rehabilitation work in Europe and Palestine, and served as chairman of its reconstruction Committee.

He was also one of the leading spirits in the establishment of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, of whose Council he is a non-Zionist member. Among the offices he holds are that of vice-president of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; and he is associated with the American Ort, the Jewish Colonization Association, the American Jewish Joint Foundation in Europe, the Palestine Loan Bank, the Russian Agrojoint Committee; the Russian Agricultural Fund and the Baron de Hirsch Fund.

Other organizations in which he plays a role are the National Labor Committee, the Cardiac Vocational Committee, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, the Association for the Advancement of Colored People; the Henry Street Settlement, the Hebrew Sheltering and Guardian Society; the Bureau of Jewish Social Research; the New York Foundation and Young Judaea.

One of the most important functions of his public activity since 1924 has been the role of mediator he has played in the garment industry. Colonel Lehman, who consents to act as mediator only if requested to do so by both parties to a dispute, has been successful in averting serious strikes in the labor industry, the last strike which he settled at the end of this summer would have affected 27,000 workers of the ladies garment industry in New York.

Mr. Lehman resigned his business affiliations when he came to public office, including that of his active partnership in the banking firm of Lehman Brothers, considered the third largest banking firm in the United States.

Since the age of twenty-one, when he founded the Boys Club at the Henry Street Settlement, Mr. Lehman has taken an active interest in welfare work. He finances a camp for poor boys and with Aaron Rabinowitz financed a $500,000 model housing project for 400 poor families on the East Side.

Mr. Lehman’s parents were Mayer and Babette Lehman. His father came to the United States as a penniless immigrant from Germany and settled in the South. There he became a friend of Jefferson Davis and served as a sol-

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