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Fraternal Order Backs Defense, Britain, Palestine, Fight on Bias

June 16, 1941
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A ten-point program calling for support of Britain, American defense, Palestine and efforts to combat anti-Semitism was outlined today by Grand master Herman Hoffman, opening the 54th annual convention of Order Brith Abraham, attended by some 800 delegates at the Garden Pier Theater here.

The convention also heard a message from President Roosevelt which declared “American citizenship has been enriched, American patriotism has been fostered, and American liberties have been protected by the Order,” whose principles “have moved themselves into the very fabric of our nation and have supplied strength to the foundations of national character.”

Hoffman departed from his presidential address to reveal that he had recently received a number of threatening letters warning him that unless he stopped his campaign against fifth column activities his life was at stake. Declaring he had turned the letter over to the Department of Justice, Hoffman said: “All the Nazi agents in the world will not stop me one minute in my fight against un-American and subversive activities.”

Speaking at the afternoon session, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, said: “The situation in the Jewish life of today makes American Jewry the primary factor in safeguarding the Jewish future. In former times the front lines of Jewish life was in Europe. This front line has new disappeared, as European Jewry, living partly under Nazi rule and partly under Soviet rule, can no longer speak and act on behalf of the Jewish people. This means that American Jewry has to assume the leadership and the responsibility for world Jewish affairs.”

Hoffman’s program included support of President Roosevelt’s foreign and domestic policies, all-out aid to Britain and other democracies, participation in interfaith programs to strengthen national unity, combating anti-Semitism as un-American, supporting all worthy charities, combating fifth column activities, support of the Palestine Jewish homeland, encouragement of the “good neighbor policy” among all faiths and combating Nazism, Fascism and Communism.

President Roosevelt’s message said Brith Abraham’s interests “are the highest and noblest that ever animated human beings.” He declared that “if this order, like America, is but true to her founders and the pure and stalwart traditions they have bequeathed, it will be merely the fulfillment of her natural destiny.”

“The humanitarian activities of the Independent Order Brith Abraham, through the many years of its existence, constitute a bright chapter in the history of philanthropy in this country during the last 54 years,” the President said. “I trust that the forthcoming deliberations will prove to be a further inspiration to your order in continuing its splendid activities.”

Governor Lehman said in a message that Brith Abrahan “has well served not only its own members, but the entire community.”

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