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THE DAWN OF A NEW DAY.
The cause of Israel has tri umphed. The American Jewish Congress, recently held at Philadel phia, proved to the world that American Jewry stands united upon the question as to what shall be our position among the nations. It proved to the world that in the mat ter of Jewish rights and Jewish fu ture there can be no dissensions, but that all classes, parties, and ele ments act as one great, harmonious nation. It proved further that when we face the world we don't face it as bankers and laborers, nor as or thodox and liberals, nor as conserv atives and radicals, but as Jews without any other affiliation. The Jewish Congress redeemed Ameri can Jewry from the bonds and shackles of thoughtless material ism and indifference and adorned it with the crown of spiritual and na tional re-awakening. It has indeed marked the dawn of a new day in the life of American Israel. And, indeed, do we not behold a glorious day dawning before us? Do we not see new avenues of Jew ish thought, Jewish activity and Jewish interest springing up in our midst? Do we not see a whole na tion taking up the sacred task of rebuilding and reconstructing its ruined, shattered forces? How else can we explain the events transpir ing before us other than the indica tion of the dawn of a new era? When Zionist meetings, Congress meetings and protest meetings are attended by large and enthusiastic audiences, when the ranks of Israel's builders are daily multiplying by the thousands, when all activities, aiming to restore Israel to a position of respect and honor, take on new inspiration and direction, we can not but behold the dawn of a glori ous day. Another noteworthy sign is the fact that everywhere the reins of leadership and guidance are being taken up by the democratic element in Jewry. The Jewish leaders of the present are the children of the Jewish bourgeoise. They rose to their positions by election or ap pointment. Modern Jewry has wrest ed the reins of leadership from the moneyed aristocrats and their spokesmen. Seeing that this ele ment never appears at Jewish public ••gatherings, that they regard Juda ism as merely another charitable as sociation, that they confine all their Jewishness to a day or two in the year, that they are always prating January 10,1919 THE AMERICAN JEWISH WORLD 307 about American democracy and yet never act in a democratic spirit, they realize that this element cannot speak for them. The people's lead ers must feel the pulse of the people, must be alert and watchful to care for its needs, must be broad minded, conscientious and progressive. How can they claim to represent Israel when they are deaf to Israel's call? Do they not realize that we are living today under different con ditions, conditions that require a dif ferent outlook, and a different mode of procedure. Will they still con tinue to say that we are merely a re ligious sect when universal thought and our own will assign to us a place among the nations of the world. Is it not time for them to cast aside their theories and opinions acquired five decades ago and master new ones? If they claim to be progres sive they must be progressive in their theories of nationalism and in ternationalism, just as they claim to be progressive in social and eco nomic thought. Surely if they have the interests of Judaism at heart they must reconsider their stand, for they must not have it said of them that not having shared in Is rael's sorrow they were not worthy to share in its triumph, its recon* struction and restoration. The Jewish Congress has pro claimed as leaders of Jewry those whose hearts beat in common with the heart of the nation, those whose minds typify the people's mind, those whose lives reflect the life of the people, those who sense the feel ings and emotions of the people, those who were chosen by their re spective communities to represent them, speak for them and act for them. Self-appointed and self-cen tered leadership has been over thrown. Let therefore those who wish to help in the cause of world Israel join hands with the new builders of Is rael. Let them unite with universal Israel and proclaim aloud, "This day hath the Lord appointed, let us be glad and rejoice thereon." P. K. NOTE. Owing to the absence from the city during the sessions of the Jewish Congress and immedi ately after, of the editor and two of his associates, our columns have not yet presented a due account of that great Jewish conclave. We pro pose, however, to publish an ade quate summary of the Congress in our next issue. THE JEWISH CONGRESS. The Jewish Congress, held in Philadelphia, December 15-19, Iras been much discussed before, during and after its sessions. Yet as the days pass, certain events that oc curred during the deliberations stand out all the more clearly as worthy of note. Briefly, the Cot} gress was epoch-making for several reasons: It spojce in the name of a united American Jewry it spoke with dignity, force and authority championed the rights of European Jews and made the demand for a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine. In spite of the many shades of opinion represented, there was prac tically no dissenting voice on any of the really big questions. Palestine as a Jewish commonwealth under the guardianship of England, in conjunction with the proposed league of nations, was the wish of all but two of the delegates, and the enthusiasm with which the resolu tion was adopted was as epochal as the proposal itself.. The life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness which the Declaration of Independence so long ago de clared to be the inalienable rights of all men, were demanded also for the Jews of the European countries that had denied such rights until now. And the demand was made so force fully, so self-respectingly, so justly! There was no mincing of words, there was no nervous attempt to gloss over the faults of the offend ing nations. No, for once the truth was fearlessly spoken, and Rou mania and Poland were shown in their true colors as regards their treatment of the Jew. i It was pleasing to see how riefi we Jews are in great personalities how much brains, dynamic force and ability the leaders of the different groups possessed. Observing their intensity and sincerity, one was ready to forgive them for having so many points of difference, especially as they showed themselves able to unite on all important matters. So one feels that the attainment of Jewish rights is the nearer and more certain because of the Jewish Con gress having met, and that its dele i gates to Versailles will achieve their purpose, if it is humanly possible. C. D. M.