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Dr. Neumann Urges ‘fundamental Change’ in American Jewish Community

August 27, 1962
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A new communal policy “which will give the highest priority to intellectual and cultural endeavors, to Jewish schools, to Hebrew education, to the deepening and enrichment of Jewish life” in the United States was urged here today, by Dr. Emanuel Neumann, addressing the final session of the two-day meeting of the national executive council of the Zionist Organization of America, the ruling body of the organization between conventions.

“Therein lies the best assurance for the Jewish future,” he told the 200 Zionist leaders from all parts of the country attending the meeting. He called upon the Zionist movement in this country “to bring about a fundamental change of climate in the American Jewish community” with emphasis on cultural work.

Dr. Nussbaum, president of the ZOA, told the gathering that the gap between the people of Israel and the Jewish communities in countries outside of Israel is continuing to widen. He said that America, and the free world as a whole, “must no longer be classified in the category of Galut (lands of dispersion)” and that “the Jewish community in the United States and the Jewish community in Israel constitute two permanent parts of one of the same ethnic group called the Jewish people.”

The newly elected ZOA president voiced concern over the failure of the Argentine authorities to take stern measures to suppress action of terrorism against Jews. He urged the Argentine Government “to investigate the link between the current anti-Semitic excesses and the large-scale infiltration of former leading Nazis from Germany into Argentina.”

Dr. Neumann also spoke on the situation in the Middle East. He said that “in the face of the continued build-up of Egyptian arms by the Soviet Union we cannot be content with repeated assurances by our government that it is concerned for Israel’s security.” He added that “Russian MIG’s and submarine cannot be effectively countered by soothing words,” and emphasized that “a policy decision is called foe followed by action which will make it crystal clear to Egypt’s Nasser and his cohorts that the free world, led by America, will not tolerate their planned aggression against Israel.”

Jacques Torczyner of New York, chairman of the national executive council, addressing the session, declared that “in view of the forthcoming elections in the state of New York it is important to reiterate that there is no ‘Jewish vote’ in our country and that Jews do not vote as a bloc in favor of any Jewish candidate because of his race or religion.” He made it clear that the Zionist Organization of America is nonpartisan and has friends in both the Democratic and Republican parties.

Other speakers included Joseph Serlin, Vice-Speaker of the Israel Parliament; Rabbis Charles E. Shulman and Ira Eisenstein, and Dr. Sidney Marks, ZOA executive director.

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