Bnai Zion Ends 69th Annual Convention
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Bnai Zion Ends 69th Annual Convention

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Bnai Zion, the American Zionist fraternal order, ended its 69th annual convention here today after adopting a resolution urging its members to go to Skokie, III. on June 25 for a counter-demonstration against a planned march by a group of American Nazis in that heavily Jewish-populated suburb. The 500 delegates elected Paul Safro, of Lawrence, N.Y. as president of Bnai Zion, which enters its Jubilee Year.

He succeeded Rabbi William Berkowitz of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York. In his valedictory address last night, Berkowitz exhorted the Jewish community to drop its timidity and “join en masse” what he termed the gallant but few Jewish organizations that will be going to Skokie. He warned that developments in Skokie were being watched by sinister international forces and that the lack of a proper Jewish response could signal ominous consequences. He rejected that claim that the Nazis have a Constitutional right to march in Skokie, declaring “This issue was that of a perversion of the Constitution.”


Another speaker last night, Allard Lowenstein, U.S. Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, called on the Jewish community to continue fighting for human rights throughout the world. He said that while the struggle for human rights in the Soviet Union and the Arab lands is important, Jews must engage in every struggle where human rights are denied anywhere in the world. Lowenstein urged faith in the UN despite its apparent failings. It remains the primary institution in the battle to preserve human dignity throughout the world, he said.

Addressing an earlier session of the four-day convention at Kutsher’s Country Club here, Kalman Sultanik, executive co-president of the Confederation of United Zionists, stressed the need for a more “thorough and all embracing involvement” in the American Zionist movement. He urged “a grass roots approach” and a swelling of interest and activity in all the newly affiliated groups derived “not alone from the top level, “he said. He said that involvement in local and national Zionist federations by the new affiliates was “a prime step in Zionization.”

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