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Miller Outlines Z.O.A. Program; Will Seek Leadership in Communities

June 18, 1952
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The new administration of the Zionist Organization of America will urge Z.O.A. members throughout the country to assume leadership on national and local levels in all aspects of Jewish communal life, it was announced last night by Rabbi Irving Miller, newly elected president of the organization.

“I have accepted the presidency of the Zionist Organization of America in the conviction that both Israel and the American Jewish community need today more than ever before a vital and effective Zionist Movement in this country,” Rabbi Miller continued. “I shall seek to draw into the movement all segments of the Jewish community and bring about an organization united in purpose and action.

“It will be my task as president of the Z.O.A. to help create a climate of public opinion favorable to Israel’s legitimate political and economic needs in order that the forces which sought to prevent the creation of Israel are not now to succeed in destroying what has been achieved. Fortunately, my task has been rendered easier by the many manifestations of friendship for the young State of Israel exhibited by the President of the United States and by the Congress in making available substantial sums in the form of grants-in-aid to Israel.

“I shall make every effort to mobilize the resources of the Zionist Organization behind the United Jewish Appeal which is the source of free dollars for Israel and the Israel Bond Issue as the source of expansion capital. In addition, full encouragement and opportunity must be afforded to private initiative both here and in Israel to make its own unique and significant contribution to the upbuilding of the upbuilding of the country and the absorption of the newcomers.

“Moreover, I regard the need for a Zionist movement as no less urgent for the well being of the American Jewish community. Precisely because it is spiritually and culturally rooted in Jewish history. Zionism can and, I hope will make American Jews conscious of their spiritual links to Jews everywhere and to Israel in particular,” Rabbi Miller declared.

Rabbi Miller was elected president of the Zionist Organization of America for the ensuing year by a vote of 654 against 371 for Abraham A. Redelheim. The votes were cast by secret ballot. Elected on Rabbi Miller’s slate by majority vote, also cast in secret ballot, were Mortimer May of Nashville as chairman of the national administrative council; William Sylk of Philadelphia, chairman of the national executive, and Albert Schiff of Columbus as treasurer.


A statement on behalf of the Progressive Zionist group led by Ezra Shapiro expressing gratification with the “resolution on non-affiliation” adopted by the Z.O.A. convention was issued by Dr. Max Nussbaum, president of the Western Z.O.A. Region. Dr. Nussbaum emphasized that he referred especially to point four of the majority resolution which reads as follows:

“The Zionist Organization of America has never been and is not now affiliated party-wise with any other Zionist group or party, is bound by no party discipline, reserves its independence and freedom of action and takes no part in the political life of the State of Israel-which is the exclusive function of Israeli citizens.”

Satisfaction was also expressed in Dr. Nussbaum’s statement with the fact that “point three of the majority resolution, referring to our sister organizations in Israel, is practically identical with the resolution adopted by our region and presented at the last annual convention of the Z.O.A.

“We trust that the spirit and letter of this resolution will be strictly adhered to by the incoming administration,” the statement said, adding that the leadership of the Committee for the Revitalization of the Z.O.A., namely Louis Lipsky, Ezra Z. Shapiro and Jacob Alkow, “fully concur in this resolution.”


Dr. Emanuel Neumann, member of the Jewish Agency executive, who was one of the leading supporters of Rabbi Miller for the Z.O.A. presidency, today issued a statement declaring that the outcome of the Z.O.A. convention “will have a revitalizing effect” upon the Zionist Organization of America.

Declaring that Rabbi Miller “has the making of a great president,” the Jewish Agency executive member said: “Personally I am happy that the position for which I have consistently fought has been overwhelmingly vindicated. Had it gone otherwise, it would have been difficult for me to continue to serve on the Jewish Agency executive. I am glad that I can now return to our practical and constructive work for Israel with renewed faith and courage.”

Dr. Neumann emphasized that the Z.O.A. convention “decisively rejected the attempt to repudiate the stand we took at our last convention and clearly re-defined and reaffirmed our position as General Zionists. The resolutions will have tremendously heartening effect upon our comrades both in Israel and throughout the world,” he stated.


Benjamin Browdy, outgoing president of the Zionist Organization of America, today denied a statement by Dr. Peretz Bernstein, president of the General Zionist Party in Israel, that Premier David Ben Gurion had “induced” him to “renounce” the so-called Atlantic City resolution in which the Z.O.A. expressed identification with the Israeli General Zionist Party.

Stating that the Premier had never asked him to renounce the Z.O.A. resolution, and pointing out that such a request would have meant interference in Z.O.A. affairs, which Mr. Browdy always opposed, the former Z.O.A. head declared:

“Not Prime Minister Ben Gurion but experience has induced me to believe that the Z.O.A. can prosper and make great strides both in Israel and in the United States only if it serves as a mass organization of American Zionists, standing above party and having no ties of identification or affiliation with any political group or faction in Israel.”

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