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ZOA Pledges ‘unstinting Support’ for Weizmann; Names Kaufmann President

July 3, 1940
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Adopting resolutions of “unstinting support” for Dr. Chaim Weizmann and calling on American Jews to aid the Palestine homeland, the 43rd annual convention closed its three-day sessions in peace and harmony this afternoon after a heated contest surrounding election of Edmund I. Kaufmann, Washington merchant and philanthropist, as president.

As a peace gesture, Louis Lipsky, who had led the opposition to Kaufmann, introduced the new president, declaring: “Mr. Kaufmann’s many qualities will have a refreshing and elevating effect upon our work.” Kaufmann, accepting the post, insisted that Palestine’s needs be met by all American Jews, not only Zionists. “They must be made to see that Palestine does not belong to any group of Jews but belongs to all Jews, to you and to me and to everyone else who feels and believes himself a Jew,” he said.

A cable of greeting from Dr. Weizmann to Kaufmann was read. It said: “Heartiest congratulations and all good wishes. Look forward to closest cooperation for mobilization supreme effort united American Jewry for Palestine.”

The convention rose in a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the war in Europe. A resolution was adopted declaring that “the brilliant leadership of Dr. Weiz-mann has proven to be a beacon of light and a source of courage and inspiration for Zionists everywhere” and pledging him “our increasing and unstinting support.”

Another resolution asserted: “The enslavement of the overwhelming majority of the Jews in the diaspora has placed a new meaning and urgency upon further rebuilding and maintenance of the Jewish national home in Palestine. American Jewry must recognize that it is the last bulwark of moral and material support. We call upon all members of the Zionist, Organization of America to dedicate themselves to the concrete task of sustaining and strengthening the structure of the homeland through the United Palestine Appeal.” Establishment of a National Zionist Youth Commission was called for in another resolution.

Election of Kaufmann, who was supported by retiring President Solomon Goldman, came last night at the end of a heated five-hour session during which the convention rejected a plan proposed by Louis Lipsky and Dr. Stephen S. Wise for a collegium of seven instead of a president. Lipsky was nominated for president, but withdrew in the interests of peace. However, his group refrained from voting.

Elected with Kaufmann are Prof. Harry Friedenwald and Judge Julian W. Mack, honorary vice-presidents; Dr. Goldman, Dr. Israel Goldstein, Lipsky, Judge Morris Rothenberg, Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, Robert Szold and Dr. Wise, vice-presidents; Judge Louis E. Levinthal, chairman of the administrative council.

Earlier, the convention had unanimously approved a war emergency program for Palestine, presented by Eliezer Kaplan, treasurer of the Jewish Agency, including provision for immigration of 5,000 European refugees between now and Sept. 30 through the overland route via Syria and Turkey.

The emergency program includes these activities: (1) children’s evacuation camps and special medical care, (2) overland transport facilities and other vital security precautions, (3) extraordinary measures for relief of unemployed, including workers in Tel Aviv and Haifa ports and other classes affected by economic dislocations resulting from the war, (4) establishment of public works projects for creation of increased employment opportunities, (5) absorption and training of refugees, including the 5,000 new arrivals prepared for in the period ending next September, (6) loans to small manufacturers and tradesmen.

This program, which would be carried out by the Palestine Foundation Fund and Jewish National Fund, includes provision for facilitation of commercial credits for agricultural settlements established since 1936 to provide for irrigation systems and other aids; reclamation of land, drainage and the building of roads and urban development.

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