Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

World Jewish Congress Set to Open Tonight; 8 Point Program Mapped

August 9, 1936
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

An eight-point program for defense of Jewish rights and a battle against anti-Semitism was formulated today by the executive of the World Jewish Congress for action at the plenary sessions, beginning tomorrow night.

As 230 delegates representing 32 countries gathered for the opening session, Dr. Stephen S. Wise, head of the executive, assailed the German Jews for opposing the parley.

At a press conference today the New York Jewish leader sounded the keynote of the congress:

“Judea awake!”

Discussing its aims, he said:

“I must make clear that the congress is not a parliament nor an attempt at a parliament. It is nothing more than an assembly of representatives of those Jewries which choose to associate themselves in defense of Jewish rights. The congress will not be wholly representative until all Jews choose to be represented by it.”

The purpose of the conclave, he declared, was “not primarily an appeal to the non-Jewish world, but a summons to the Jewish world to awaken, to which end the representatives of many lands have foregathered to consider the problems affecting the status of the Jews with a view to find the solution to the great Jewish problem existing today.”

Dr. Wise said the congress represents one-third of the total Jewish population in 32 countries.

The agenda which the delegates will be called on to adopt follows:

1-Establishment of a permanent agency to represent the various Jewish communities for the defense of Jewish rights.

2-Defense of civil, political and economic rights of Jewish minorities wherever minority rights are recognized.

3-Defense against anti-Semitic propaganda.

4-Regulation of Jewish migration by establishment of a central bureau for coordinating and directing migration activities.

5-Defense of Jewish interests against the destructive policies of the Nazi Reich.

6-Coordination under public control of Jewish relief efforts receiving support through public appeals.

7-Reconstruction and rehabilitation of the economic life of those unable to emigrate.

8-Facilitation of immigration into Palestine with the cooperation of the Jewish Agency for Palestine.

After announcing the program, a preliminary meeting of the executive adjourned until tomorrow evening without reaching a decision on a proposal to change the body’s name from World Jewish Congress to World Congress of Jewish Organizations.

A delegation comprising Dr. Wise, Judge Julian W. Mack, Louis Lipsky and Abraham Goldberg, all of New York, was appointed to dissuade 40 American, polish and Palestinian laborite delegates who were insisting on the latter name on the ground elections to the congress were not democratic.

The executive also deferred a decision on the seating of five delegates from American radical organizations barred by the American Jewish Congress from representation at the world parley. The five delegates claim to represent 500,000 American Jews.

Recommended from JTA