Leaders Summarize Achievements of Convention
Menu JTA Search

Leaders Summarize Achievements of Convention

Download PDF for this date

Reelected President, Zionist Organization of America

The Chicago Zionist Convention, in my judgment, will occupy an im###nt place in the history of ### Zionism. Its constructive ### was somewhat obscur### the public prints by incidental matters which were unduly featured and greatly exaggerated because of their dramatic interest, will do much to influence the future course of both the World and the American Zionist organizations.

The convention was marked by a high intellectual level and a fine understanding of the grave problems and high opportunities which face the Zionist movement. I can recall no Zionist convention that brought together a better representation of American Zionist intellectual forces. The presence at the convention of delegations from the B’nai B’rith, the Independent Order Brith Abraham, the Brith Sholom, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Mizrachi, the Poale Zion and other important national Jewish organizations, headed by their national officers, gave additional and impressive evidence of the moral strength and influence exercised by the American Zionist Organization.


The convention too was made notable by the presence of Dr. Chaim Weizmann and the moving and significant utterances to which he gave expression.

Among the leading features of the convention I should indicate the following:

First and foremost, the convention focused attention upon the German-Jewish situation as affecting Palestine. It clarified and gave impetus to the plan first projected by the American Zionist Administration for a comprehensive plan of Jewish settlement in Palestine made necessary and opportune by recent events that have accentuated the unprecedented condition of Jewish homelessness. The support and elaboration of this plan by Dr. Weizmann at the convention gives it new and added significance.

Second: The Convention gave expression to the overwhelming sentiment among American Zionists to the return to a place of leadership in the Jewish Agency by Dr. Weizmann. It issued a warning to the menace of internecine strife and the imperative need for a coalition of all constructive forces in the World Zionist movement.

Third: Constructive measures of reform in the constitution of the World Zionist Organization were adopted.

Fourth: In the American Zionist Organization a new class of group membership was established that gives promise of bringing within the orbit of Zionist influence wider sections of American Jewry.


Fifth: The presentation of the report of the Commission on Education and Youth Organization by the leading pedagogues in the field of Jewish education was an {SPAN}##standing{/SPAN} feature of the convention. The acceptance of its recommendation for the establishment of a Department of Zionist Education and the approval of its successful effort to amalgamate the exising young men’s Zionist organizations in a new and larger Masada having the backing of the Zionist Organization of America, is a step that cannot be overestimated in creating a vital Zionist youth movement in the United States.

Sixth: The convention took a much-delayed but necessary step in clarifying the relations between the Zionist Organization, Hadassah and the Order Sons of Zion that will lead to greater and more harmonious cooperation among these bodies.

Seventh: The convention continued a united Zionist Administration.

Eighth: The Jewish Day at the Century of Progress Exposition and at which Dr. Weizmann was a guest of honor, was a novel and incidental feature which lent color and interest to the convention. The presence of 150,000 Jews at the first performance of the pageant, orderly and intent on every incident of the performance, was a sight never to be forgotten.

All in all, the thirty-sixth annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America gave unmistakable evidence of Zionist influence in American Jewish life and of the contribution of American Zionism in shaping the destinies of the World Zionist movement.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund