Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Inclusion of Community Representatives in U.p.a. Bodies Approved at Chicago Parley


The more than two thousand delegates to the annual conference of the United Palestine Appeal were returning to their communities throughout the nation today “strengthened for the great responsibilities before us,” in the words of their retiring national chairman, Dr. Israel Goldstein.

A unanimous resolution to include within the governing bodies of the U.P.A. a one-third representation from the Jewish communities and welfare funds was hailed by Dr. Emanuel Neumann, president of the Zionist Organization of America, at the conclusion of the two-day conference as “an historic departure that will serve to consolidate the support of American Jewry for Israel.”

“Since the Jewish State has now become an established fact,” Dr. Neumann told the delegates, “the barriers which have long existed between Zionists and non-Zionists are rapidly melting away. The Jewish communities throughout the country are not only deliriously happy over this consummation but are eager an never before to join hands with us in the job which still remains to be done.


“This action,” Dr. Neumann added, “will also tend to discourage and, I hope, eliminate the outcropping of new competitive fund-raising activities on behalf of Israel.” Later, Dr. Neumann released the text of a message in the same vein sent to two of the conference delegates by Berl Locker, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive in Jerusalem. The Locker cable, which also announced his imminent departure for the United States, read:

“I view with gravest apprehension any action widening breach at this fateful juncture. Everybody concerned must make extreme effort to restore unity and maintain harmonious co-operation. This certainly possible on the basis of Congress decisions. Consider attempt for independent campaign fraught with gravest dangers for our common cause and urge you abstain from any preparations this direction. Leaving for USA this week.”

The cable and Dr. Neumann’s statement were in recognition of a controversy over the organization structure of the United Palestine Appeal which first became public with the resignation recently of Henry Montor from his position of executive director of the organization. The controversy popped out again at the conclusion of the conference here when Harold J. Goldenberg of Minneapolis, a spokesman of the newly-formed Committee of Contributors and Workers for the United Jewish Appeal, called a press conference at which he accused the U.P.A. leadership of “bad faith.” He said the resolution concerning U.P.A. organization had been presented at a time when members of his group were meeting with Dr. Neumann in an effort to seek a compromise wording of the resolution.

Principal speakers at the final conference session at the Palmer House were Eliahu Epstein, Israeli Government representative in the U.S., and Major General John H. Hilldring, former assistant secretary of State. Expressing certainty that Israel would seen join the community of nations in the U.N., Epstein told the delegates; “We look to the future confident in the knowledge that behind us stands the might of American Jewry, unified and willing in support of the tremendous tasks us face.”

The conference passed resolutions honoring Henry Morgenthau, Jr., chairman of U.J.A., who recently returned from a visit to Israel, and Dr. Israel Goldstein, who announced to the conference his imminent departure for Israel where he will take up his new duties as treasurer of the Jewish Agency. Herman L. Weisman will be acting chairman of the U.P.A. until a new chairman is elected.


The conference adopted a resolution expressing “profound appreciation” to the organized Jewish communities and welfare funds throughout the country “for their wholehearted cooperation and their superb efforts in the 1948 campaigns under the auspices of the United Jewish Appeal.” The resolution approved the decision of the executive favoring the inclusion on the governing bodies of the U.P.A. of representatives of Jewish communities, welfare funds and federations to the extent of one-third of the membership of such governing bodies.

“It is understood that under the rules and regulations of the Zionist movement, final authority for determining the allocation of funds raised for Jewish needs in Israel continues to rest with the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the Keren Kayemeth in Jerusalem and the central institutions which are vested with appropriate authority by the World Zionist Congress,” the resolution said. “As in the past, the proceeds of the U.J.A. campaign received by the U.P.A. (less its operational expenses) will continue to be remitted in equal parts to the head offices in New York, of the Palestine Foundation Fund (Keren Hayesod) and the Jewish National Fund.

“It is likewise understood that all final decisions regarding allocations and appropriations of funds raised by the U.P.A. and its constituents, the Keren Hayesod and Keren Kayemeth, with the exception of administrative budgets, are in the competence of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Keren Kayemeth of Jerusalem–without thereby affecting the existing structure and practices of the American Jewish National Fund and the American Palestine Foundation Fund or their right subject to the above provisions to consider proposals and recommendations for allocations in or on behalf of Palestine. The U.P.A. shall also have the corresponding power to consider all such proposals and to make its own recommendations with regard to them,” the resolution concluded.

Judge Morris Rothenberg, president of the Jewish National Fund, announced that a Fund budget of $104,000,000 had been adopted for the current year. Emphasizing the lend needs of Israel, he deprecated “efforts to break the unity of the U.P.A.,” and added; “The struggle to safeguard the territorial integrity and independence of Israel will need to be waged in one form or another for a considerable time to come.” At the care meeting Charles Ress, president of the Palestine Foundation Funds spoke of the needs of his organization. Robert R. Nathan, the economist, discussed the economic situation in Israel.

Recommended from JTA