Proskauer Appeals for Jewish Unity; Urges Zionists, Non-zionists Submerge Differences
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Proskauer Appeals for Jewish Unity; Urges Zionists, Non-zionists Submerge Differences

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Emphasizing that unity among Jewish groups “can still be achieved and that it is our solemn duty to achieve it.” Judge Joseph N. Preskauer, president of the American Jewish Committee, yesterday appealed to all American Jews, asking for “calm deliberation and judgment” in the solutions of problems besetting Jewry.

The appeal was made in the course of his annual address to the meeting of the executive committee of the American Jewish Committee. Except for a small minority of extremists, there is an overpowering demand by American Jews for “Jewish unity of action,” he said.

In the part of his appeal addressed to “Zionist friends”, Judge Proskauer said, “We may not join in your ultimate objective, but we love Eretz yisreel. the land of Israel, no less than you do; we are prepared to work with you in getting the answer to all these difficult questions. Why, then, must you have conflict with us because we say it is inexpedient, unwise and dangerous to the safety of Palestine itself presently to go to the extreme of your demands? Why must you submerge all these practical questions, and, in the middle of a great World War, cast everything upon the hazard of the urging of your ultimate political position, which from any point of view is at the present time academic?”

Summing up the problems confronting Jewry today, Judge Proskauer concluded, ‘All of us — Zionist and non-Zionist — must work together for the solution of the problems in the interest of the Yishuv. We have to safeguard the Jews’ position in Palestine and foster Jewish immigration for those who wish to go to the Holy Land. We have to meet the subtle poison of bigotry. We have to see to it that in the reconstitution of the new world it be made a place where every man may dwell in safety and in peace and in dignity under his own vine and fig tree.”


George Z. Medalie, chairman of the overseas committee of the American Jewish Committee, addressing the meeting said that there are three main areas of problems that American Jewry must face.

“1. As the greatest Jewish community in the world, American Jewry now becomes target number one for anti-Semites throughout the world. We must protect ourselves from any and all attempts to create a separatism that would divide American Jews from other Americans.

“2. We must make adequate long-range plans for relief and rehabilitation and we must provide the means necessary for the implementation of these plans.

“3. As an important aspect of the constructive solution of the problems of hundreds of thousands of Jews, we must give careful and unbiased consideration to the place of Palestine as a permanent home for an untold number of Jews. The doors of Palestine must be kept open for immigration and the Jews of the world thus have the necessary obligation of seeing to it that the terms of the Balfour Declaration are lived up to, and that the British white paper of 1939 is abrogated,” Mr. Medalie pointed out.

Samuel Leidesdorf, chairman of the Domestic Defense Coordinating Committee, presented a picture of the Committee’s defense activities. “We are waging a vigorous aggressive war against racial and religious bigotry, and an affirmative campaign to present the Jew properly to the American people.”

Others who reported on various phases of activities conducted by the American Jewish Committee in combating anti-Semitism included Ira M. Younker, Frank Altschul and Victor S. Riesenfeld. James Besker and David Sher reported on the local chapters which the Committee organized during the last eight months in a number of cities throughout the United States.

Although the annual elections were not held, and the 1944 officers will hold over until such time as an annual meeting can be held, two new officers and five new members of the executive committee were named to fill vacancies left by resignations during the past year. Mr. Sher was chosen chairman of the administrative committee to succeed Alan M. Stroock; Nathan Ohrbach succeeds Mr. Younker as treasurer. The new members of the executive committee are Louis Broido, Harold K. Guinzburg. Benjamin B. Lazrus, Jerome Udell, and Max Warburg, all of New York.

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