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Zionist Crisis at Hand, Says Rothenberg

June 27, 1934
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That the Zionist Organization of America should extend its activities to participate in communal and political life was the decision of the 100 New York delegates to the Zionist convention who met last night at the Hotel Imperial to decide upon the policy which they will uphold at Atlantic City this week end.

“Zionists must remember,” declared Morris Rothenberg, president of the Z.O.A., “that Zionist ideology has at its base the survival of the Jewish people. The stimulation of Jewish culture wherever Jews live strengthens their spirit and enables the Jewish people to resist the onslaughts being made on them from all sides.”

Predicting that debate on the future program of the Z.O.A. would be one of the crucial points of the convention, Mr. Rothenberg declared that “the Zionist Organization is at the crossroads of its existence.”

Carl Sherman, chairman of the meeting and president of the New York Zionist Region (Religion), pointed out the disparity between the strength of Zionist sentiment and the weakness of the Zionist organization, He proposed election by the convention of a governing council of seven members to administer the work of the Z.O.A.

“At this time of an unparalelled crisis in Jewish life, which, at once, “has vindicated our ideology and created an imperative demand for an extension of the Zionist program,” he said, “the disparity and disproportion between the strength of Zionist sentiment and the weakness of the Zionist Organization is thrown into bolder relief.

“An augmented leadership, that is, a leadership which will embrace an enlarged personnel, to assume responsibility for the creation of policies, ideas and plans, is essential in order that we may successfully reach out for that intensification of activities, as will give the Organization a prior and central position in Jewish life. Only with a more adequate leadership can we avail ourselves of the extraordinary opportunity, which calls on us to obey the dictates of a fateful hour. Such enlarged leadership can be best attained through election by the Convention of the seven members of the Governing Council (or by different title)—rather than by subsequent appointment.”

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