Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Dr. Goldmann Disallows Draft As WZO President; Sultanik Proposes Alternative

June 17, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dr. Nahum Goldmann said today that he would not allow himself to be drafted for another term as president of the World Zionist Organization, and a belief emerged among delegates to the 27th World Zionist Congress that he meant it. The question of Dr. Goldmann’s re-election has been an issue since the Congress opened on June 9.

Talk began to turn to the future of the WZO presidential post. Kalman Sultanik, executive vice-president of the Confederation of General Zionists, submitted a proposal under which the Congress would empower the next World Zionist Actions Committee meeting to choose a president after a commission representing all Zionist parties would be elected by the current Congress to name suitable candidates. He said the Confederation opposed leaving the presidency vacant but he added that in the little remaining time of the current Congress, he did not feel that candidates could be selected and discussed with the thoroughness befitting such a high office. A spokesman for the General Zionist Union said Dr. Goldmann’s apparent final decision was regretted but that the post should be filled and that there were candidates. He did not mention names, but it is known that the Union favors Dr. Emanuel Neumann, American General Zionist leader. The leftist Mapam merely expressed regret, while the Revisionists expressed satisfaction over the fact that their initial anti-Goldmann stand was now backed by Labor Zionists.

In declaring his non-candidacy, Dr. Goldmann told the Congress steering committee that he had ; several reasons for that apparently final decision. He said he wanted time to create a world Jewish representative body, to work on behalf of Soviet Jewry and for “Israel’s place in the Middle East.” He said the WZO presidency hampered his freedom of expression and action.


The Congress’ steering committee decided to grant the World Organization of Jewish Students right of full voting in all Congress deliberations and the right to vote for officers and to run for office. The action gave the students more rights than were granted to youth organizations and aliyah groups whose members were given the right to vote but not on personal matters such as nominations and members of the Jewish Agency Executive. Student representatives expressed gratification for the decision but indicated they were not yet agreed on acceptance or a rejection of their second demand, calling for creation of a special department for students by the Executive.

Max Fischer of Detroit, Mich., honorary national chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, told the Congress that the UJA had brought into action Jewish communal leaders who now lead whole communities. Rabbi Herbert Friedman, UJA executive vice-president, said the upsurge of Jewish feeling during the Six-Day War last year must be succeeded by a continuing effort to assure Israel’s security.

A special session of the Congress on various campaigns for Israel throughout the world beard Finance Minister Pinhas Saphir describe the UJA as the main supplier of funds from abroad “which enabled us to absorb our immigrants.” He said the Israel Bond drive had “enabled us to start economic projects which, though they do not bring in short-term fruits, will in the long run, return the capital invested.”

Recommended from JTA