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Dr. Israel Goldstein Elected President of Zionist Organization of America

September 13, 1943
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the Jewish National Fund of America for the past 10 years, was today unanimously elected president of the Zionist Organization of America at the afternoon session of the 46th national convention of the ZOA, which is meeting here with more than 1,000 delegates in attendance. He succeeds Judge Louis E. Levinthal who served as ZOA president for the past two years.

In honor of Dr. Goldstein’s election a check for $500,000 was presented to him, on behalf of the Jewish National Fund, by its executive director, Mendel N. Fisher, to be cabled today to Palestine for land redemption “as an expression of the deep sense of gratitude to Dr. Goldstein for the decade of concerted services he has rendered to the cause of redeeming the soil of Palestine.”

During the same session the following were elected Vice-Presidents of the ZOA for the ensuing year. Dr. Solomon Goldman, Judge Louis E. Levinthal, Edmund I. Kaufman, Louis Li sky, Judge Morris Rothenberg, Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, Robert Szold, Dr. Stephen S. Wise, and Bernard Rosenblatt. Abraham Goldman of New York was elected treasurer of the ZOA and Rabbi James G. Heller of Cincinnati was named as chairman of the National Administrative Council.


Dr. Silver, addressing the convention, said that what the world will do concerning the Jewish people will be the true index to the nature of the entire reconstruction problem that will follow this war, “If the world will project the problem of the national rehabilitation of Israel – the people who have been the most ravaged

Pointing out that the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its national home in Palestine was officially acknowledged by all the great nations of the world, including the United States, after the last war, Dr. Silver said “we ask for no special favors or privileges. We will build with our own hands. We seek to exploit no one and to expropriate no one. We ask for the sympathetic understanding of men of good will everywhere to help a people, which has served not unworthily the cause of mankind’s spiritual and intellectual progress through 4,000 years of hostility, to solve its tragic millennial problem. Will the builders of tomorrow’s world grant Israel the same privileges which it is hoped will be granted to every people: to live a free and independent life in its own national home?” Dr. Silver asked.


Dr. Nahum Goldmann, a member of the World Zionist Executive, told the convention that “it is wishful thinking to dream that all the American and other countries will open their gates and invite Jews to come in, still less realistic is it to think that all the other countries will be available for Jewish mass immigration. Urging a realistic approach to the Jewish problem, Dr. Goldmann expressed the opinion that “the post-war world will be open to Jewish migration no more than the pre-war world was.” He added that there is no fundamental solution to the Jewish problem except Palestine. Alluding to the recent proposal for the settlement of Jews on African territory, Dr. Goldmann said “decades would pass and hundreds of millions of dollars would have to be invested in order to develop limited countries in Africa or elsewhere for large Jewish migration.” He expressed the conviction that once the statesman of the world sit down to consider, wisely, the solution of the Jewish problem they will have to come back to the Palestine solution as the only one which is ripe for implementation.

Judge Morris Rothenburg said that a realistic view of the post-war world is not one to give reassurance to the possibility of the post-war economic readjustment of the European Jewish population. He charged that the doors of the United Nations are still practically closed to Jewish victims of the Nazi terror who might be save “Like another black curtain about to be rolled down upon the last hope of escape, the White Paper of 1939 ominously threatens to close all further migration to Palestine,” he added. Judge Rothenberg emphasized that the Zionist movement must press vigorously for the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth.


President Roosevelt, in a message sent to the convention last night, stresses that “all feasible measures are being adopted to lessen the sufferings of the persecuted Jews of Europe.” He expressed confidence that “the helpful contribution made by American citizens towards the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine will be continued.” The text of the President’s message reads:

“As the delegates to this conference assembled to consider means of alleviating the suffering of the Jewish people, I cannot but express my horror at the cruelties visited upon innocent people by the Axis authorities in the territories they occupy. The attitude of this government in regard to these atrocities was able expressed by the Secretary of State in a statement he issued on October 30,1942, and I wish to emphasize that all feasible measures are being adopted to lessen the suffering of the persecuted Jews of Europe. I am confident that the helpful contributions made by American citizens towards the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine will be continued.”

A similar message was received from Secretary of State Corlell Hull.

A warning against use of “half measures or palliatives in the solution of the Jewish problem” was sounded by Judge Louis E. Levinthal, retiring president of the organization, is his annual message. “The statesman and people of the world must recognize that the solution to the Jewish problem lies primarily in Zionism,” he declared. “Unless they are willing to facilitate the establishment of the Jewish Commonwealth, the problem will continue to rise again and again on a dozen tomorrow “A new order seems to have been developed among some of the so-called statesman of Great Britain and, to our shame, yes, of the United States, too–a creed in which mention of the Jewish tragedy, of Jewish persecution, of Jewish homelessness, seems to have become taboo, and taboo also are Jewish Palestine’s brilliant contribution to the war effort.”

Hailing the recent action of the American Jewish Conference in New York endorsing the Zionist program for the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth, Judge Levinthal asserted that “we cannot re-establish the Jewish commonwealth merely by saying again and again: “Let there be a Jewish commonwealth.'” Stressing that “the scope of Zionist organization is not confined to Palestine alone,” Judge Levinthal stated that “this interest take by us Zionists in the welfare and security of the Jewish people everywhere in the desire on our part to insure the freedom the creativeness and the happiness of Jews wherever they dwell is part of traditional Zionism.” He declared that the Zionist organization “should not hesitate to place its full weight and full influence in the scales of post-war planning.”

Daniel Frisch of Indianapolis announced today that the Zionist Organization of America will launch a campaign to increase its membership for the coming year from 67,000 to 150,000. He stressed the need for a larger membership in the organization and urged the Jews of America to bend all efforts to swell the ranks of the Zionist Organization of America.

Benjamin Kaufmann, national commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States, assured the convention last night that the veterans’ national encampment, which opens later this month, will adopt a resolution supporting the creation of a Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine.

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