Michael Tzur Gets Ten Months Cut in Prison Term
June 10, 1981
Jerusalem (Jun. 9)
Michael Tzur, Israel’s most prominent white-collar criminal, will be released from jail in August, ten months before his term was due to end. The remission decision was taken by President Yitzhak Navon over the weekend, upon the recommendation of Justice Minister Moshe Nissim.
A year ago, Navon reduced Tzur’s original 15-year sentence to 11 years at the recommendation of then Justice Minister Shmuel Tamir. Since then appeals have been piling up on Nissim’s desk from Knesset members and other public figures for further leniency in Tzur’s case.
Tzur received his tough sentence after conviction in 1975 on charges of theft, fraud and bribery in connection with the Israel Corporation, the government-founded investment group which he headed. His crimes came to light following the collapse of Tibor Rosenbaum’s International Credit Bank in Geneva with which the Israel Corporation had close connections.
Tzur had been a leading light in Israel’s economic and financial community, having served previously as director general of the Commerce Ministry and later as chairman of Zim Lines, the national shipping company. He was considered a financial genius, and a protege of the late Pinhas Sapir, for many years Israel’s all powerful Minister of Finance.
In recommending this latest remission of sentence, Nissim wrote that he had thought long and hard about the case. On the one hand, Tzur was a “symbol” of a pernicious evil that had taken root in Israeli society and had to be extirpated. On the other hand, he had “drunk the bitter cup to the dregs” by falling from “a lofty position” to Ramle Jail. Moreover, he had displayed “sparks of contrition” by his conduct in prison where he became teacher, friend and adviser to many prisoners and planned and initiated worthy and profitable employment projects for the prisoners.
With a third of his sentence commuted for good behavior, Tzur would have been released in June 1982.
Report on the Israel Corporation
February 1, 1977
JERUSALEM (Jan. 31)
–State Comptroller Yitzhak Nebenzahl released a scathing report sharply critical of Baron Edmund de Rothschild, chairman of the board of directors of the Israel Corporation (IC), and Mordechai Limon, chairman of the directorate’s General Council, for their alleged negligence in permitting the development of a major scandal that rocked the corporation in 1974.
The report, described by Knesset members as one of the “sharpest ever written by the State Comptroller,” accused them of failure to supervise the activities of the corporation’s director general, Michael Tzur, who is serving a 15-year prison term for embezzlement and fraud. No criminal action was taken against Tzur’s alleged co-conspirator. Swiss-Jewish financier Tibor Rosenbaum.
The Comptroller’s report, released last Thursday, was prepared in response to an agenda motion introduced in the Knesset two-and-a-half years ago. Rothschild retorted angrily on a radio interview from Paris. He said it was absurd to release the report at this late date when the IC is getting back on its feet. He praised the integrity of Limon and accused the Comptroller of singling out the IC although other Israeli companies were victims of illegal transactions by Tzur and Rosenbaum.
EXPLAINS REASON FOR DELAY
The Comptroller explained that the report was delayed because of the Tzur trial and because its preparation required time-consuming investigation. The investigation was conducted by Arnold Spaer, a private attorney engaged by the Comptroller. Spaer interviewed 36 witnesses under oath at 54 separate hearings. Rosenbaum refused to testify and there was “no need” to question Baron de Rothschild, the Comptroller explained, although the Baron agreed to it.
The report does not question the integrity of either Rothschild or Limon. It claimed, however, that lack of supervision and control over Israel Corp, activities by senior members of its directorate-allowed Tzur to commit the offenses for which he was subsequently indicted. The Comptroller rejected explanations by board members that they had failed to supervise Tzur because at the time they had absolute confidence in him.
The report accused Limon of signing documents submitted by Tzur without reading them. Tzur was charged with the embezzlement of $8.7 million of IC funds earmarked for capital development projects in Israel and funneling them into shaky banks and dummy corporations maintained by Rosenbaum.
Meanwhile the Knesset State Control Committee met today to discuss Nebenzahl’s report and decided to look into the consequences of the report. Yitzhak Modal, the Control Committee’s acting chairman and a Likud member of Knesset, proposed that the three protagonists in the Israel Corporation drama–Finance Minister Yehoshua Rabinowitz, Rothschild and Rosenbaum — be invited for an on-the-spot confrontation. “In a direct confrontation much of this may be clarified.” Modal said.
New Turning Point in Rosenbaum Israel Corporation Affair
January 15, 1976
JERUSALEM (Jan. 14)
Legal and financial circles here are discussing with interest the possible repercussions of a Tel Aviv court judgement last week on the Israel Corporation-Tibor Rosenbaum affair. Tel Aviv District Court Judge Shlomo Lowenberg ruled last Thursday, with the consent of all the parties, that civil action taken against Geneva banker Tibor Rosenbaum by the Israel Corporation, in Israel. should now be dropped.
The Corporation last year got the court to block Rosenbaum’s assets in Israel, estimated at $15 million, following the collapse of his Geneva based International Credit Bank and its allied Inter-Credit Trust, registered in Vaduz, Lichtenstein. The collapse left the Israel Corporation Israel’s prestige finance company, and its associated companies. $29 million out of pocket, because deposits they had placed with Rosenbaum could not be recovered.
In a subsequent criminal action here, the Israel Corporation director-general Michael Tzur, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on charges of embezzlement, bribery, fraud and currency offenses. Tzur’s appeal is due to be heard by the Israel Supreme Court in March and legal observers here believe that last week’s judgement by Judge Lowenberg may affect the appeal.
EXAMINATION SHEDS DIFFERENT LIGHT
“What had seemed black at first,” the judge wrote, “appears not so on closer examination.” He was referring to the Israel Corporation’s allegation that Tzur and Rosenbaum had conspired to transfer $8.5 million of Israel Corporation monies to the Rosenbaum trust company without the knowledge of the Israel Corporation board of directors.
“After matters were examined in the Israel Corporation books,” the judge wrote, “it has now become clear that what were previously thought to be transactions conducted through the personal contact only between Tzur and Rosenbaum were actually recorded regularly in the Israel Corporation books and were open to inspection.”
Judge Lowenberg noted that these transfers were effected over a period of three years, in open correspondence between the two companies, were reported to the Israeli authorities and were known to the Corporation’s auditors. Rosenbaum had no reason to suspect, the judge continued, that the transfers had been made by Tzur acting alone and without authorization.
JUDGEMENT MAY HAVE REPERCUSSIONS
The judgement may have repercussions, too on the private criminal prosecution which Israel Corporation chairman. Baron Edmond de Rothschild of Paris, has brought against Rosenbaum in the Swiss courts. That prosecution is also based on the $8.5 million transfers. Rosenbaum’s lawyers are certain to argue that the Tel Aviv judgement clears their client of criminal complicity in a conspiracy and to press, therefore, to have the charges dropped.
Rothschild’s criminal action against Rosenbaum is the only criminal proceeding that the joined financier face. The Swiss writing authorities, having examined the affairs of his crashed empire, have not, to date, pressed any criminal charges. They seem to have concluded that his losses, set at 345 million Swiss Francs, were the result of a string of financial misfortunes rather than of breaches of the law.
In Tel Aviv, the Israel Corporation lawyer Amnon Goldenberg asked Judge Lowenberg Monday to amend his judgement in order to make it clear that he was not saying the Israel Corporation directors had a hand in the transfers. The application was postponed pending the return of Rosenbaum’s lawyer, Avraham Biran, to Israel. But Judge Lowenberg stated that this implication was not his intention.
Jewish Agency Board Re-elected; Five New Members Named
June 20, 1975
JERUSALEM (Jun. 19)
The Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors, under the chairmanship of Max Fisher, of Detroit, was unanimously re-elected last night at the Agency’s fourth annual Assembly. Six former members who did not stand for re-election were replaced by five new members for a total membership of 42 Instead of 43. The new members are Joseph Kumkummer, of Belgium; Donald Robinson and Frank Lautenberg, both of the United States; Dr. Carlos Goldmann, of Venezuela; and Phillip Granowsky of Canada, Lautenberg is general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal.
They replaced Rabbi Israel Miller, of the U.S., chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations who was previously president of the American Zionist Federation; Thomas Hecht, of Canada; and Max Schein, of Mexico, all of whom declined to stand for re-election for personal reasons; and Tibor Rosenbaum, of Geneva; Albert Adelman and Edward Ginsberg, of the U.S. Rosenbaum, whose International Credit Bank in Geneva, failed last year, was the key figure in a major international financial scandal involving Israel and is presently free on ball pending trial by Swiss authorities for mismanagement of his bank.
There was some confusion following the vote last night over whether Jewish Agency chairman Pinhas Sapir and Agency treasurer Leon Dulzin were required to stand for re-election or whether their election last year was for four-year terms, Legal experts asked to interpret the Jewish Agency’s constitution on this matter were looking into it. The Herut and other opponents of Sapir did not, however, make a major issue of it.
May 23, 1975
Swiss-Jewish financier Tibor Rosenbaum was released from custody Wednesday after friends posted ball of 6 million Swiss Francs (about $2 million), Rosenbaum, 52, was arrested on April 30 as he was about to leave Switzerland. He is charged with mismanaging the affairs of his international Credit Bank which was closed by Swiss authorities last October.
Tzur Sentencing Due May 26
May 15, 1975
TEL AVIV (May. 14)
A three-member Tel Aviv District Court said it will pass sentence May 26 on Michael Tzur, former managing director of the Israel Corporation and former chairman of the Zim Israel Navigation Co., who pleaded guilty last Friday to 14 counts of larceny, bribery and corruption. Tzur, 52, is the highest ranking Israeli public official ever to be charged with such offenses. He faces maximum prison terms of 10 years on each of the counts against him which include theft, embezzlement, betrayal of confidence and mishandling public funds.
Tzur was once the “fair-haired boy” and financial “genius” of Israel’s economic establishment who served in numerous high government posts including that of director general of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in the 1960s.
A protege of former Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir, he was named chairman of the board of the Zim Lines in 1967 at a time when the national steamship company was in serious financial straits. “He was credited with putting Zim into the “black” after purging its old management and abolishing its money-losing passenger services. Tzur was also a member of the board of directors of the Haifa Refineries.
In 1970 he was named managing director of the Israel Corporation, a multi-million dollar quasi public investment organization headed by Baron Edmund de Rothschild whose purpose was to amass capital for Israel’s industrial development. He was forced to resign from that post and from the Zim Lines last year after it was learned that he had invested monies ear-marked for Israel’s capital development in dubious enterprises of his personal friend and business associate Tibor Rosen-baum, a Swiss-Jewish financier.
The collapse of the Rosenbaum financial empire resulted in severe losses for the Israel Corp. and the Zim Lines and exposed the fact that Tzur had transferred the public monies without the knowledge or approval of the Israel Corporation’s board of directors. Rosenbaum was arrested in Switzerland earlier this month and is being held on ball of 5 million Swiss France ($2 million) on charges of financial malfeasance.
Tzur, who had earlier protested his innocence, is believed to have pleaded guilty to avoid exposure of the details of his financial manipulations and other persons involved in them that would have come out in the course of the trial. The prosecution, which has demanded the maximum penalty allowed by law for Tzur’s offenses, had assembled 47 witnesses to testify for the government.
Geneva Court Sets $2 M Bail for Rosenbaum; Rimmer Set Free
May 8, 1975
GENEVA (May. 7)
A Geneva remand court today set five million Swiss Francs bail ($2 million) for financier Tibor Rosenbaum who is charged with “mismanagement.” Sources close to the Rosenbaum family term the bail as “prohibitive” and say that there is no chance they will be able to raise it.
Abraham Rimmer, a director of the International Credit Bank controlled by Rosenbaum, was set free this evening without bail. He was charged with “fraudulent stock exchange maneuvers,” a crime under Swiss criminal court. Both men had been arrested April 28 as they were about to leave Geneva for Paris.
Vladimir Vezeley, the attorney for the plaintiff, Israel Corporation, told the three-man court that Rosenbaum had “recklessly gambled away other people’s money,” Rosenbaum’s attorney, Roland Budin, pleaded with the court to set his client free stressing that the only things he wants is to save the bank, He said that Rosenbaum was pursued “for personal reasons by one man who wants the heads of Michael Tzur (former Corporation director general) and Tibor Rosenbaum,” referring to Baron Edmond de Rothschild who has led the campaign against the two men.
It was Baron de Rothschild, the Israel Corporation’s chairman, who first lodged a criminal complaint against Rosenbaum last October, Rothschild since discovered that Tzur had transferred to Rosenbaum $2 million on April 29, 1974, It is believed that Rosenbaum will appeal the court’s decision, (By Edwin Eytan)
Rosenbaum, Rimmer Court Hearing Due
May 5, 1975
GENEVA (May. 4)
Tibor Rosenbaum, head of the International Credit Bank, will be presented this week before a Geneva remand court where the state prosecutor will ask that he be kept in preventive detention on charges of fraud and misuse of public funds. With him will appear Abraham Rimmer a director of the bank. The two men were arrested last Tuesday at Geneva Airport as they were about to leave the country for Paris.
Legal sources in Geneva believe that, as a result of these arrests and of the report of the official liquidators of the international Credit Bank, the bank will go into bankruptcy later this month Robert Pennone, a spokesman for the liquidators, Deloitte, Haskins and Sons, said here today that his firm will present a final report by the middle of the month. Sources close to the liquidators’ firm believe that the assets of the bank are far smaller than had originally been thought and will not cover the bank’s liabilities, estimated at over 500 million Swiss France (about $200 million).
Rosenbaum, a prominent figure in world Jewish organizations, was interrogated all day Friday by the Geneva investigating magistrate, Pierre Moriaud. Rimmer and their attorneys were present. Legal sources in Geneva believe that Rosenbaum was arrested after he failed to supply the Geneva trade court and the liquidators with documents and the assets of the company he controlled in Vaduz, Lichtenstein.
The director-general of the Israel Corporation, Israel Galed, and two of the Corporation’s legal advisors visited Geneva prior to Rosenbaum’s arrest and reportedly met with Swiss judicial authorities. The two men reportedly handed to the Swiss authorities a copy of the charge sheet used against the Corporation’s former director-general, Michael Tzur, in which Rosenbaum was mentioned as an alleged accomplice.
Rosenbaum, Rimmer Arrested
May 2, 1975
GENEVA (May. 1)
Jewish financier Tibor Rosenbaum was arrested here on Tuesday, Swiss police sources said. Arrested with him was Dr. Abraham Rimmer, a director of Tibor’s International Credit Bank. The two were arrested on suspicion of forgery, swindling and misuse of public funds.
Tzur Hit with 18-count Indictment
April 10, 1975
TEL AVIV (Apr. 9)
An 18-count indictment, including charges of bribery, embezzlement, fraud and theft of IL 112 million, including personal bribery of IL 12 million, was presented yesterday in Tel Aviv district court against Michael Tzur, a leading Israeli industrialist. He faces a possible sentence of up to 10 years. His trial, for which the date was not set, will be held before a panel of three district judges. Tzur has been general director of the Israel Corporation, chairman of the board of the Zim Shipping Co. and chairman of the board of the Haifa refineries.
The charges, covering the period of 1970-1974, are listed in legal terms as theft by a public servant, receiving bribes, violating confidence and embezzlement, and receiving money under false pretenses in grave circumstances. Tzur also was accused of violating foreign currency regulations. According to the charge sheet, Tzur accepted a $1.5 million bribe in one case and the equivalent of $1.4 million in German Marks from an investors group that invested in the Israel Corporation, allegedly to get inexpensive financing from Tzur for their investments.
Tzur was charged with using the bribe funds to form a Vaduzian corporation which in turn invested funds in the Israel Corporation then headed by Tzur. He also was charged with having received a bribe of $130,000 from an Israeli agent of an Italian shipyard. According to the indictment, Tzur so manipulated matters in his capacity as Zim chairman, that Zim ordered two container ships in the Italian shipyards represented by the agent who allegedly bribed Tzur.
Tzur also was accused of receiving a bribe of $15,000 from Tibor Rosenbaum of Switzerland allegedly to persuade a foreign firm to invest $6 million in one of Rosenbaum’s Vaduzian corporations. The prosecution charged that the listing of the capital invested by Tzur for the Zim and the refineries by the Rosenbaum corporation was to produce interest which allegedly was registered as lower than the actual interest payments, with the difference deposited in Tzur accounts allegedly kept in foreign banks.
Israel Corp. to Show Net Profit of Some Il 34 Million
March 18, 1975
TEL AVIV (Mar. 17)
The Israel Corporation will show a net profit of not less than IL 34 million this year despite the loss of some $9 million through the failure of financier Tibor Rosenbaum’s companies in Vaduz, Lichtenstein. Israel Gilead, the new managing director of the Israel Corporation, said its favorable financial condition was the result of the increased income of its principal subsidiaries.
Among these, the Zim Israel Navigation Co. grossed $60 million in 1974 compared to $30 million in 1973; the Haifa Refineries IL 69 million as against IL 47 million; and the Petrochemical Industries, IL 32 million compared to IL 10 million in 1973, Gilead reported.
He also disclosed that almost all the Corporation’s shareholders are continuing their investments. Baron Rothschild has increased his holdings by $1.5 million. In addition, Gilead said, contracts have been arranged with several groups and concerns to buy out the debts owed by Rosenbaum to the Israel Corporation for more than $2.5 million.
The loss of $9 million in Rosenbaum’s dubious enterprises has been charged to the Corporation’s former managing director, Michael Tsur, who faces criminal charges of having allegedly invested monies ear-marked for Israel’s capital development in the Vaduz enterprises without the knowledge or consent of the Israel Corporation’s board of directors.
Former Zim Official Arrested
February 26, 1975
TEL AVIV (Feb. 25)
Michael Tzur, former managing director of the Israel Corporation and former chairman of the Zim Lines, Israel’s national shipping company, was placed under arrest here yesterday in connection with alleged violations of foreign currency regulations; disloyalty and suspected fraud. The 52-year-old business executive and former civil servant was informed that he was under arrest after he was summoned to police headquarters for further questioning in connection with the allegations against him.
The order to take Tzur into custody was telephoned from police headquarters in Jerusalem where an investigation of his activities is also under way. According to Israeli law, police may detain a suspect for 48 hours after which he must be remanded before a magistrate.
Tzur was forced to resign from the Israel Corp. and the Zim Lines last year after it was charged that he had invested large sums of money belonging to those firms in enterprises headed by his friend and business associate financier Tibor Rosenbaum. The temporary closure of Rosenbaum’s International Credit Bank in Geneva and the failure of alleged “dummy” corporations he set up in Vaduz, Lichtenstein, an international tax haven, sparked a financial scandal here.
Tzur was accused of investing Israel Corp. money, ear-marked for Israel’s capital development, in Rosenbaum enterprises without the knowledge or consent of his superiors. He is also alleged to have invested large sums of money from Zim and from the Haifa Refineries Ltd. of which he was a board member, in Rosenbaum’s failed enterprises, State Attorney Meir Shamgar recommended last November that the police investigate Tzur’s transactions.
Tzur, who was born in Germany, came to Palestine in 1934 and received a law degree from Tel Aviv University, held various high posts in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Finance Ministry from 1951-58. He served as director general of the Ministry of Commerce until 1965 when he was named by the government to the chairmanship of the Zim Board of Directors.
Efforts Being Made to Cement Cracks in Labor Party Edifice
February 19, 1975
TEL AVIV (Feb. 18)
Intensive behind-the-scenes efforts are being made to seal the widening cracks in the Labor Party edifice that threaten Israel’s largest political party with a possible break-down into its three original constituent factions. Although the Labor Party’s internal rifts are nothing new, they have been overshadowed by such recent events as Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s visit and the Sixth Plenary Assembly of the World Jewish Congress which was concerned with unity between Israel and diaspora Jewry.
Now attention has been shifted to the quarreling between Mapai, Achdut Ha’avoda and Rafi, some of whose adherents seem ready to dismember the Labor Party if they can’t dominate, Premier Yitzhak Rabin, leader of the united Labor Alignment, has been able to devote little time to internal politics. But his ultimate involvement is considered inevitable.
Meanwhile, attempts are being made to establish dialogues between the rival factions in Labor to avert a split. One such forum was vetoed by former Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir who, though presently chairman of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization Executives, still wields formidable power within the Labor Party. Sapir has called for the abolition of the three Labor Party factions and argues that as long as they exist, any dialogue is doomed to failure.
‘UNITY FORUM’ MAY AVERT A SPLIT
Nevertheless, a new proposal has emerged for a “Unity Forum” that would include such veteran Labor personalities as former Premier Golda Meir, former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, former Agriculture Minister Yosef Almogi and Moshe Carmel, former Minister of Transport. It would also include Histadrut Secretary General Yehuram Meshel, the various party secretaries and Sapir.
Such a powerful grouping within the Labor Party and representative of all of its factions, is regarded as the only one that can avert a split. It was proposed as an alternative to the old “kitchen cabinet” of the Meir government wherein Mrs. Meir and a handful of her closest associates reached decisions on major issues without consulting the rest of their colleagues in the party and government.
Rabin is facing another problem in filling vacancies in his Cabinet. The Communications Ministry post has remained unfilled since Rabin took office. The recent resignation of Information Minister Aharon Yariv created another vacancy. The Premier is under severe pressure from the new immigrant lobby and Sephardic circles to name a new minister from the Oriental community. The apparent choice of these groups is Mayor Tzvi Aldorati of Migdal Ha Emek.
The Labor Party, however, is not the only one facing serious internal difficulties. The National Religious Party is sharply split between its veteran leadership and its “young guard.” The rift has been aggravated by recent scandals involving two leaders of the world Mizrachi movement–banker Tibor Rosenbaum and Rabbi Bernard Bergman who is under investigation in the U.S. for alleged fraud in connection with his nursing homes there. Conciliatory moves so far have failed. The Likud opposition is also having trouble with its four-member Free Center faction which has recently split in two.
Wjc Executive Due to Investigate Allegations Against Rosenbaum
February 12, 1975
JERUSALEM (Feb. 11)
The newly elected Executive of the World Jewish Congress is expected to appoint a committee shortly to inquire into allegations against Tibor Rosenbaum, the Swiss-Jewish financier, whose business difficulties last year resulted in the loss of millions of dollars of Israeli money invested in several of his enterprises. If Rosenbaum is cleared by the committee, sources here said, he will get a seat on the Executive and probably will be appointed as a second treasurer of the WJC.
Sol Kanee, of Winnipeg, Canada, was elected treasure of the WJC, succeeding Rosenbaum who had held that post for the last nine years. Rosenbaum informed WJC President Dr. Nahum Goldmann before the Plenary Assembly opened that he would not be a candidate for office unless a special committee of the Executive gave him a clean bill of health. Rosenbaum claimed that he was a victim of vilification by the news media. Dr. Goldmann indicated at the time that he would appoint such a committee after the Plenary Assembly ended.
Jacques Torczyner, chairman of the nominations committee, said when he presented the nominees that the Plenary Assembly was being asked to vote for one treasurer and that a second treasurer would be designated at a later date. Apparently that office is intended for Rosenbaum if he is cleared.
The financial scandal last year involving Rosenbaum’s International Credit Bank in Geneva and his companies in Vaduz, Lichtenstein caused him to resign from his position as a member of the presidium of the World Mizrachi movement. He has since become a controversial figure within the National Religious Party whose veteran leadership supports him against the opposition of the party’s “young guard.”
Probe Mafia Links to Bergman
December 26, 1974
NEW YORK (Dec. 25)
The federal-New York State investigation into alleged fraud and other illegal activities in the network of nursing and old aged homes owned by Rabbi Bernard Bergman, a leader of the American and World Mizrachi Movement, will also look into possible ties with the underworld. In particular, the probe will check a report that an alleged associate of reputed underworld figure Joseph A. Colombo Sr. had lived in a penthouse at one of Rabbi Bergman’s nursing homes for the indigent.
Sen. Charles H. Percy (R.Ill.), a member of the Senate subcommittee on long-term care, has asked the New York Temporary State Commission on Living Costs which has scheduled a hearing for Jan. 21 to look into the matter. Percy acted on allegations by Rep. Edward I. Koch (D.NY), who charged underworld ties and political protection. Assemblyman Andrew J. Stein (D. Manhattan), chairman of the commission, told a news conference yesterday, “It is our information that there are connections between the Bernard Bergman empire and organized crime.”
Stein said that Rocco Scarfone, considered a former advisor to Colombo, had been on the payroll of the Towers Nursing Home and had used a penthouse in the Park Crescent Nursing Home, both Bergman facilities on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Rabbi Bergman, a former president of the Religious Zionist Organization of America, heads the Mizrachi’s Religious Education Committee in the U.S. He is also one of three members of the World Mizrachi Presidium which is closely connected to the National Religious Party in Israel. Another member and associate of Rabbi Bergman is Swiss-Jewish financier Tibor Rosenbaum whose financial troubles involving millions of dollars in investments by leading Israeli firms has created a major scandal
Rabbi Bergman reportedly became a multimillionaire through the operations of nursing homes in New York City and State and in New Jersey which receive large sums of money from Medicaid. The alleged misuse of these funds and deplorable conditions in many of the homes were exposed in recent articles in the New York Times and the Village Voice.
Nrp in Turmoil over Charges Against Rabbi Bernard Bergman
December 23, 1974
TEL AVIV (Dec. 23)
The National Religious Party was reported to be in turmoil today over charges of fraud and other illegal activities levelled against the network of nursing and old aged homes in New York owned by Rabbi Bernard Bergman, a leader of both the world and American Mizrachi organizations. The NRP leadership met in stormy sessions here today and Friday. The party’s young guard has demanded Bergman’s suspension from the Mizrachi Presidium pending the outcome of joint American Federal-State hearings into the charges which are scheduled to open in New York City on Jan. 21.
Rabbi Bergman came to Israel earlier this month after the New York State Temporary Commission on Living Costs opened an investigation of his nursing homes amid allegations of fraud in the use of Medicaid funds which reportedly were contributed to synagogues and charities, to key Republican and Democratic officials and to the Mizrachi organization. Bergman left Israel last week and reportedly is in Vienna. Some sources said he was returning to the U.S. for the Jan. 21 hearings;
Rabbi Bergman, a former president of the Religious Zionist Organization of America, heads the, Mizrachi’s Religious Education Committee in the U.S. He is also one of three members of the World Mizrachi Presidium which is closely connected to the NRP. Another member and associate of Rabbi Bergman is Swiss-Jewish financier Tibor Rosenbaum whose financial troubles involving millions, of dollars in investments by leading Israeli firms has created, a major scandal here.
Rabbi Bergman reportedly became a multimillionaire through the operations of nursing homes in New York City and State and in New Jersey which receive large sums of money from Medicaid. The alleged misuse of these funds and deplorable conditions in many of the homes were exposed in recent articles in the New York Times and the Village Voice. The first reaction of Orthodox circles here and in New York was to denounce the Times reporter, John Hess, as anti-Semitic. But that allegation has been rejected.
SUBPOENAS ISSUED BY SENATE COMMITTEE
Last week two major American Jewish Organizations–the American Jewish Congress and the Federation of Reform Synagogues–urged New York Governor-elect Hugh Carey to launch a state-wide probe of the Bergman homes. Subsequently, a subcommittee of the Senate Special Committee on the Aging, announced that it was joining the investigation in New York City.
Sen. Frank Moss (D.Utah) chairman of the subcommittee, issued subpoenas calling on 35 nursing home operators and suppliers to produce records for the hearing. Rabbi Bergman and his wife were among those for whom subpoenas were issued. Meanwhile, the State Temporary Commission on Living Costs, headed by State Assemblyman Andrew Stein, has started criminal contempt proceedings against Rabbi Bergman for failing to respond to its subpoenas.
Compromise Reached Between Israel Corporation and Rosenbaum Empire
December 5, 1974
TEL AVIV (Dec. 4)
The Board of Directors of the Israel Corporation has decided not to participate in a consortium of creditors attempting to save the troubled financial empire of Swiss Jewish financier Tibor Rosenbaum. But the Israel Corporation, which had large sums invested in Rosenbaum’s ventures, will not press its claims for restitution at this time while efforts are being made to salvage Rosenbaum’s International Credit Bank in Geneva, it was learned.
The compromise was reached here at a two-day meeting of the board chaired by Baron Edmund de Rothschild. Before returning to Paris Friday, the French Jewish banker and philanthropist said he had assured Premier Yitzhak Rabin. Finance Minister Yehoshua Rabinowitz and Minister of Commerce Haim Barlev that the Rosenbaum scandal would have no effect on his support and devotion to Israel.
Another board action named Israel Gal-Edd, a former director general of the Development Ministry, managing director of the Israel Corporation. He succeeds Michael Tsur who was suspended last month for alleged questionable financial dealings with Rosenbaum. The board also voted 9-4 to appoint former Chief of Staff Gen. David Elazar director general of the Zim Lines in which the Israel Corporation holds a 50 percent interest.
Zim, from which Tsur was also ousted last month, was one of several major Israeli companies that had funds invested in the Rosenbaum enterprises. Elazar, who commanded Israeli forces in the Yom Kippur War, was forced to resign after the Agranat Committee investigating the war found him responsible for Israel’s lack of preparedness.
Order Probe of Israeli Firms
November 29, 1974
TEL AVIV (Nov. 28)
Attorney General Meir Shamgar has instructed police to begin an official investigation into the financial affairs of the Israel Corp., the Zim Lines and the Haifa Refineries all of which had large sums of money invested in the troubled financial empire of Swiss Jewish banker Tibor Rosenbaum. The key figure in the investigation is Michael Tsur who was managing director of the Israel Corp. and chairman of the Zim Lines until ousted last month when the Rosenbaum scandal broke.
The police are also expected to question Zim’s treasurer, the auditors of the Israel Corp. and board members of companies headed by Tsur. The latter was suspended by the Israel Corp. for allegedly investing large amounts of money earmarked for Israel’s capital development in several dummy corporations maintained by Rosenbaum in Vaduz, Lichtenstein, a favorite tax haven of international finance. Tsur allegedly made the transactions without the knowledge or authority of the Israel Corp. board.
Tsur, a former director general of the Ministry of Commerce who the government put in charge of Zim Lines in 1967 when the national shipping company was experiencing severe losses, has issued a statement to the press denying the findings of a special Zim investigating panel. The panel found him to be solely responsible for questionable foreign currency transactions. Tsur claimed the charges were baseless.
But Tsur admitted publicly a week ago that the shipping company maintained a secret account with Rosenbaum’s International Credit Bank in Geneva from which it paid bonuses to top executives in order to evade income tax. Tsur blamed Israel’s “faulty” tax laws for making such machinations necessary and claimed that the tax authorities had private knowledge of the bonuses. intimating official complicity in the evasion.
The collapse of Rosenbaum’s enterprises also has involved Histadrut’s powerful construction company, Solel Boneh. Investigations have established that Solel Boneh played a part in financing Rosenbaum’s activities to the extent of $3.4 million invested in his various concerns. Solel Boneh’s director general Tzvi Rechter has been held responsible and he was given to understand that his resignation would be accepted. So far, Rechter has refused to submit it and demands for his immediate suspension have been made.
Court Grants One-year Moratorium to International Credit Bank
November 27, 1974
GENEVA (Nov. 16)
A Swiss court today granted a one-year moratorium to the International Credit Bank whose difficulties had rocked Israel’s and West Germany’s financial establishments, The Geneva court decided to entrust the management of the bank to a British fiduciary company. All assets will be frozen until Oct. 1975 though the bank will henceforth be able to carry out normal banking operations.
The court reportedly found that the bank, In which Jewish financier Tibor Rosenbaum is a major share holder, has sufficient assets to meet Its liabilities. The court also found that the bank was only suffering from a temporary shortage of ready cash. According to court sources the bank’s liabilities amount to 500 million francs (about $170 million) and are covered by real estate, long and medium term Investments and other property.
The row over the bank erupted after the Israel Corporation announced that its Director General, Michael Tsur, had Invested $8.6 million of Corporation money in Rosenbaum’s bank and Lichtenstein trust funds. The bank is due to reopen this week but money will not be returned to former depositors unless the custodian decides to do so. Under Swiss law, former deposits are frozen though small amounts might be released for “humanitarian” reasons. As assets are turned into cash, It is customary, however, for the management to return investments to investors.
Rosenbaum was reported to be highly optimistic as to the bank’s chances to resume normal operations and honor its former obligations within a few months. He hopes, according to bank sources, to obtain West German and Israeli financial participation in the bank and raise new cash capital.
Special Interview Rosenbaum.says He Believes His Bank Will Be Saved and All Depositors Will Get Back
October 24, 1974
GENEVA (Oct. 23)
Jewish financier and banker Tibor Rosenbaum told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here that he believes his bank, the International Credit Bank, and his various financial concerns will be saved and all depositors will get back their money. The closure of Rosenbaum’s bank has caused a political furore in Israel, a financial scandal involving the Israel Corporation and hit at some 12,000 small depositors who had entrusted their funds to the prominent Jewish businessman and leader.
Rosenbaum told the JTA that his financial difficulties started last spring after the management of the Hessische Landesbank Girozentrale, a partner in his bank, was reshuffled and the new directors tried to avoid their responsibilities in the Geneva bank in which they held a 36.4 percent interest. Rosenbaum said that the publicity surrounding this affair created an artificial withdrawal rush which soon deprived the bank of all available liquidities.
He said, however, that after the forthcoming elections in the State of Hesse due to take place next Sunday, he “hoped the bank (Hessische Landesbank) will assume its contractor obligations” and help the International Credit Bank resume normal operations.
A CHANGED MAN
Rosenbaum said that as far as the Israel Corporation is concerned, he believed that their 38.6 million deposit with his companies was “normal procedure.” He said that his bank and concerns had “often in the past rendered important services to the corporation” and allied companies. He refused to specify what these services were.
Financial circles in Geneva, however, said Rosenbaum had often in the past advanced them money at short order and thus helped promote their economic interests. These sources said Rosenbaum had also helped finance various Israeli arms deals in Western Europe and elsewhere.
Rosenbaum himself is a changed man from his relatively recent past: apparently suffering from lack of sleep, he has red eyes, a sallow men and a broken voice as he narrates what he terms “the lack of gratitude and even of basic friendship” from which he now suffers.
He lives in a middle-class apartment in Geneva’s residential sector and drives a low-priced car. He told this correspondent that he goes every day to his office in the bank where he mainly deals with small depositors to whom he tries to procure from other sources reimbursement of the funds deposited with him. The bank itself is closed and a Geneva court is examining its books. The court is expected to decide this week whether to extend the moratorium or declare it bankrupt.
Report Rothschild Intends to Sever Ties with Fund-raising Efforts on Israel’s Behalf by Edwin Eytan
October 24, 1974
PARIS (Oct. 23)
Baron Edmond de Rothschild, a prominent member of the Jewish banking family and chairman of the board of directors of the Israel Corporation, has reportedly severed his ties with fund-raising on Israel’s behalf.
Rothschild, who was due to host a world gathering of UJA donors at his Geneva home next month, has written UJA director Yakov Gilad saying that he can no longer sponsor the event. The 250 major contributors, many from the U.S., were expected to gather at his Geneva residence, the Castle of Pregny, in the first week of Nov.
Jewish Agency chairman Pinhas Sapir who yesterday arrived in Paris from London told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the event will take place in Geneva but “somewhere else.” Sapir also said that he hoped Rothschild’s “coldness is only temporary.” UJA sources also said that Baron de Rothschild has not made any contributions to the UJA this year. Last year he gave $2 million. Sources close to Rothschild told the JTA that he is apparently” upset” because of Israeli and Jewish world-wide support for Geneva banker Tibor Rosenbaum.
Rosenbaum himself, in an interview with JTA earlier this week, said that he had tried on a number of occasions to meet either with Rothschild or with his advisors to work out, if possible, some means for the repayment of at least part of the 8.6 million deposited by the Israel Corporation with his financial, concerns. Sources close to Rothschild confirmed when questioned by the JTA, that the Corporation chairman has refused to meet Rosenbaum and has told other Corporation officers not to do so either.
Sapir told the JTA that he has not met with Rothschild during his current trip to Paris and knows of no plans for such a meeting. He said, “I would be glad to see him should he express the desire to do so.” Sapir is due to address a dinner tonight tendered in his honor by the local UJA. Baron de Rothschild will be absent, according to sources.
Israel Corporation Board Decides to Continue Activities in Israel
October 23, 1974
PARIS (Oct. 22)
The board of directors of the Israel Corporation has decided to continue and even expand its activities in Israel. An official communique released after the meeting Thursday night quoted the board’s chairman. Baron Edmond de Rothschild as saying “the company is financially strong. We shall make up for the losses. There is an important job to be done and we plan to see that it is done.”
The board’s chairman was referring to the potential loss of $8.5 million of the corporation’s money deposited with financial concerns directed by Geneva-based Jewish banker Tibor Rosenbaum. The communique made no specific reference to Rosenbaum, and circles close to the corporation told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the board has not discussed any plan to help Rosenbaum’s bank, the International Credit Bank, or his other financial concerns.
These sources said that none of the participants even raised such a possibility. The board’s chairman, these sources said, is “strongly opposed” to any possible dealing with Rosenbaum and feels that the only course open to the corporation is “straightforward legal routine.” According to these corporation sources, the board’s decision not to help Rosenbaum definitely ends any hopes to refloat his erstwhile financial interests.
UNITY OF PURPOSE URGED
The Israel Corporation has been under strong attack in Israeli political and economic circles for losing money by transferring funds to Rosenbaum and for placing monies abroad instead of investing all available funds in Israel’s economy as is its stated aim.
At Thursday night’s meeting Baron de Rothschild made it clear, however, that he intends to head the board and help develop the corporation’s activities in Israel. Rothschild also called on the board’s members to show “unity of purpose” and reassert the company’s aims. He said that a new director general to replace Michael Tsur will soon be reappointed and is due to name soon a selection committee. He expects to announce the name of the new director general at the next board meeting, next month in Israel. Tsur is the Corporation’s former managing director who was fired by the board Sept. 27.
The board’s decisions will not conclude the Rosenbaum scandal. The bank is still in moratorium and its 12,000 depositors are not receiving their money back. Corporation sources said that its own investigation into these facts will be completed “in a few days” and indicated that the report will probably be made public.
Rabin Intervenes to Help Save International Credit Bank
October 17, 1974
TEL AVIV (Oct. 16)
Premier Yitzhak Rabin intervened personally last night in efforts to save the International Credit Bank of Geneva from collapse. Rabin summoned to his Tel Aviv office the top executives of Israel’s three largest bonks–Ernest Yaffee of Bank Leumi; Daniel Recanati of the Israel Discount Bank; and Jacob Levinson of the Bank Hapoalim. He asked them to consider heading a consortium of the Swiss Bank’s creditors to keep the institution alive.
The move, unprecedented for an Israeli political leader, was explained by the fact that collapse of the Geneva bank owned by Swiss-Jewish financier Tibor Rosenbaum would have serious repercussions for Israel. The national interest stems from the fact that large sums of Israeli money and the money of other Jewish institutions were on deposit or otherwise involved in Rosenbaum’s bank. Swiss authorities closed the bank last week pending an investigation to determine if it is solvent. The bank asked a Swiss court at the same time for a moratorium on payments.
The three bankers who met with Rabin pledged themselves to secrecy on any moves they may make to rescue Rosenbaum’s bank. Israeli financial circles appeared more optimistic today that the rescue efforts may succeed. The outlook improved after reports were received that the Hessische Landesbank Girozentrale of Frankfurt, a part owner of the Rosenbaum bank, had reconsidered its earlier decision not to put more money into the Swiss enterprise. (By Yitzhak Shargil)
Bank Crisis Hits Some of Israel’s Largest Industrial Enterprises
October 11, 1974
TEL AVIV (Oct. 10)
The crisis of Tibor Rosenbaum’s financial empire is shaking the foundations of some of Israel’s largest industrial enterprises. They are linked to Rosenbaum’s fate through investments by the Israel Corporation in some of Rosenbaum’s many commercial ventures in Europe which have either collapsed or are in serious trouble.
The Israel Corp. a holding company established in 1968 by Jewish industrialists and financiers to create capital for the expansion of Israeli industries, owns or holds substantial interests in some of Israel’s largest firms. These include the Zim steamship lines and the Atta Mills, Israel’s largest textile manufacture.
Workers at the Atta plant called a meeting today to discuss the money due them should Atta be forced to shut down. They got assurances from the plant’s director general, Amos Ben Gurion. that their pension funds and severance pay were safe. He also said there was no question of Rosenbaum’s creditors taking over Atta. Histadrut, meanwhile, has instructed its Comptroller to find out if any Histadrut enterprises have been involved in Rosenbaum’s bank or other enterprises. The investigation was initiated following rumors that Histadrut’s giant construction cooperative. Solel Boneh, may have had some connection with Rosen baum’s companies.
EXTENT OF LOSSES UNDETERMINED
So far it has been impossible to determine the extent of the losses that may have been suffered by the Israel Corp. and its Israeli holdings. Israel Corp. funds were invested in some of the 100 companies Rosenbaum established in Vaduz. Lichtenstein, a favorite tax haven for international financiers. It also reportedly had deposits in Rosenbaum’s International Credit Bank in Geneva which closed today. The lack of bookkeeping in Rosenbaum’s Lichtenstein companies is making it difficult to ascertain the extent of financial losses suffered by the Israeli firms.
Finance Minister Yehoshua Rabinowitz. who just returned from Washington where he attended a meeting of the World Bank, said today that while deposits by the Israel Corp. in the International Credit Bank in Geneva should be investigated and those who did wrong should be punished, due consideration must be given to the fact that the Israel Corp. is a successful enterprise that has developed profitable industrial projects.
Geneva Credit Bank Closes; Asks for a Payments Moratorium
October 11, 1974
GENEVA (Oct. 10)
The International Credit Bank was closed today after its board of directors last night asked a Geneva court to decree a payments moratorium. The court is studying the bank’s plea and is not expected to hand down its decision before the end of the month in view of the complexity of the bank’s accounts.
According to Swiss law. the court can impose a moratorium if it finds the bank’s assets sufficient to meet its obligations and that it is suffering from a shortage of funds only due to exceptional circumstances such as a sudden rush by depositors to withdraw their moneys. Should the court find the bank insolvent, however, it will decree it to be in bankruptcy and appoint an official receiver to wind up its business. Until then, the bank is still free to negotiate its sale or the sale of its assets, the funds from which would be deposited in a court controlled account.
In a communique released last night, the bank’s board of directors blamed the crisis on press campaigns waged in West Germany and “other countries.” The communique said the panic withdrawals of funds are responsible for the bank’s lack of available funds.
Sources close to the bank told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that the bank’s assets can easily cover all of its deposits and other liabilities. These sources also claimed that several un-named Jewish banks are expressing interest in a takeover bid.
Other financial sources in Geneva said, however, that as far as the Hessische Landesbank Girozentrale could ascertain during last week’s negotiations in Frankfurt, the International Credit Bank’s assets are vastly inferior to its liabilities. These sources expressed the hope that the bank’s future will be rapidly settled one way or another as any delay harms other Jewish or Israeli connected firms in Switzerland and Western Europe.
ATTEMPTS TO WITHDRAW DEPOSITS
The bank’s chairman, Tibor Rosenbaum. was not available for comment in spite of JTA’s repeated attempts to contact him. Rosenbaum also failed to attend the Frankfurt negotiations during which the Hessische Landesbank finally decided to risk losing the funds it has already advanced the International Credit Bank rather than transfer more money to. it. The Hessische Landesbank controlled by the Hesse SPD (Socialist) government, has 36.4 percent interest in the Swiss bank.
Meanwhile, small depositors continued to arrive in Geneva in a vain attempt to withdraw funds deposited with the bank. Last night, after the bank announced its temporary closure, people, many from Israel and France, waited for hours in front of the locked gates. Several people said that they had come from Paris, others from Tel Aviv to try to recover their deposits. Last night there was no one left at the bank with whom they could talk. The staff had left earlier through a side door and the only people in the lobby were the guards.
Knesset Unit to Discuss Bank Crisis
October 10, 1974
JERUSALEM (Oct. 9)
The Knesset. Finance Committee is to conduct a thorough debate on the affairs of the Israel Corporation and on its heavy involvement in the International Credit Bank of Geneva whose chairman is Jewish financier Tibor Rosenbaum. Government and opposition Knesseters agreed at a special plenary session today to pass the issue on to committee without a full debate in the House.
As the Knesset discussed the issue, reports continued to flow in from Switzerland about the crisis enveloping the bank. The Hessische Landesbank Girozentrale pulled out yesterday returning its 36 percent holding in the International Credit Bank, claiming it was entitled to do so under the contract between them, and alleging that the Credit Bank’s dealings under Rosenbaum had not been “in accordance with the usual norms of international banking.”
The Hessische Landesbank, reportedly together with Israel’s Histadrut-owned Bank Hapoalim and other Jewish banking interests abroad, had been making efforts over the past two weeks to help the Credit Bank. The Credit Bank is now expected to be put into receivership by the Swiss central banking authorities, although there were still reported last-minute frantic efforts by European Jewish financiers to help Rosenbaum and his bank.
Last week, in a statement received by the JTA in New York from Hans Harry, chairman of the executive committee of the Credit Bank. it was stated: “We are working normally. Our liquidity is quite in order. We have no financial problems. Our bank is open, and always has been.”
COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST TSUR
Meanwhile, in Israel the interim management of the Israel Corporation has filed a complaint with the police against the corporation’s deposed manager. Michael Tsur. The charge is that Tsur transferred $8.5 million of the corporation’s funds for investment in Rosenbaum’s Liechtenstein-registered companies without the knowledge or consent of the IC board. Tsur is alleged to have acted knowingly against IC’s interests.
In his immediate reaction, Tsur declared that everything which he had done had been intended in the best interests of the corporation. A police spokesman said police investigators were already checking the IC files at the request of the Attorney General, and that Tsur had been asked not to leave the country for the time being.
Bank Crisis Worsens
October 1, 1974
JERUSALEM (Sep. 30)
Premier Yitzhak Rabin has telephoned Finance Minister Yehoshua Rabinowitz who is attending the International Monetary Fund conference in Washington today to return home immediately because of the worsening crisis involving investments by the Israel Economic Corporation in the tottering financial empire of Swiss-Jewish banker Tibor Rosenbaum.
The government–sponsored corporation, established in 1969 with the assistance of Jewish businessmen from North America and Europe, is believed to have sustained losses in excess of $20 million as a result of the failure of Rosenbaum’s International Credit Bank of Geneva.
The situation was discussed at length at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting where Minister of Commerce and Industry Haim Barlev, filling in for Rabinowitz, announced that he has asked Treasury officials to draft new criteria for investments and deposits by government and government-sponsored corporations.
Meanwhile, Michael Tsur, managing director of the Israel Economic Corp, has been suspended, and board chairman Baron Edmund de Rothschild has reportedly asked Israeli legal authorities whether criminal action could be brought against Tsur for his conduct of the IEC’s affairs.
TSUR WILL DEFEND HIS CONDUCT
Tsur said today that he would defend his conduct and his investment of IEC funds after the money was recouped or collateral secured. He refused to say how much money was involved but strongly denied that his investments had been speculative in nature as alleged in financial circles here. He refused to divulge details of the emergency board meeting last Friday called by Baron de Rothschild.
According to unconfirmed reports, Baron de Rothschild had ordered Tsur to withdraw all IEC funds on deposit with the Rosenbaum bank in the spring of 1973 after learning of Rosenbaum’s financial difficulties. Tsur complied but subsequently invested larger sums in Rosenbaum’s bank and other companies controlled by the financier without the knowledge of the IEC board, the unconfirmed reports allege.
Behind the Headlines Another Jewish Bank in Trouble
September 25, 1974
JERUSALEM (Sep. 24)
Reports over the weekend and into this week of the “liquidity problems” of Swiss Jewish financier Tibor Rosenbaum’s financial empire flooded the Israeli press and gave further cause for concern among business and finance circles here, and among Orthodox circles, both of which have been hit hard recently by the financial collapse of Jewish millionaires abroad.
While the extent of Rosenbaum’s problems were not immediately apparent, moves were reportedly proceeding in Frankfurt in the hope of selling his “International Credit Bank of Geneva” and thereby perhaps saving his vast business and financial empire. Economic commentators here noted that no matter what the eventual fate of the bank, there was good reason to hope that Rosenbaum’s interests in Israel would not be affected by his crisis. These interests include large shares in two major textile concerns as well as real estate and other ventures.
Rosenheim is the third prominent Orthodox Jewish millionaire in Europe to fall upon hard times this year. The earlier two were William Stern, his brother-in-law from London who is a real estate magnate, and Harry Landy, also from London whose Israel-British Bank crashed first in Tel Aviv then in London and brought down others of his family’s ventures with it.
CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE
All three were intimately connected with Israel’s economy: Stern had last year bought up “Pan-Lon,” Israel’s largest private building company. He was forced to sell it when his empire in England crumbled. He is reputed to have other, smaller interests, too, in Israel. Landy head of the well-established Williams family, owned, apart from the bank, the “Eliaz” wineries here and several real estate and other concerns.
Israel’s taxpayers were not, of course, affected by Stern’s troubles. in fact “Pan-Lon” had been doing well, but he had had to sell to raise capital in London. The extent of the government’s losses in the Israel-British Bank is not yet fully known, and its former managing director, Landy’s brother-in-law, Yehoshua Bension, is still awaiting trial.
But over and above dollars and cents, Israel has suffered severely in these instances. Both banks were known to be closely connected to Israel. Landy and Rosenbaum were on warm terms with the leaders of Israel’s economy, and the upshot must inevitably be a weakening of general confidence in Israel and Israeli-connected banking institutions.
ORTHODOX SECTOR HARD HIT
The Orthodox sector here will particularly suffer from these three otherwise unconnected setbacks. All three millionaires have been philanthropists, mainly to Orthodox causes, and mainly in Israel on a very large scale, and many an Orthodox institution is going to feel the pinch now.
The National Religious Party has been especially unfortunate. Landy and Rosenbaum are two of its most prominent leaders. in fact Rosenbaum is one of its three-man international presidium. Furthermore, they both were closely involved in fostering the party’s own commercial and banking ventures.
Credit Freeze in Israel
August 1, 1974
JERUSALEM (Jul. 31)
In another measure to fight inflation, the Bank of Israel has ordered the nation’s banks to cut back on the amount of credit they have been giving out. No date has yet been set for the new regulation and the amount and type of credit frozen will be decided jointly by the individual bank and the Bank of Israel.
The decision for the new measure was made because the amount of loans the banks have been making has considerably exceeded the rate of deposits, causing a constant flow of money into the economy. Up to now, the banks have been able to give credit according to their liquidity rate, the sum total of their deposits. This figure varies from day to day and so is difficult for the Bank of Israel to control.
Despite heavy fines by the Bank of Israel, the nation’s banks have been exceeding the credit regulations because of customer pressure. The amount over the regulations has exceeded IL 900 million during a time when bank deposits have dropped IL 400 million. The first expected to feel the new pinch are small depositors who will no longer be able to make overdrafts on their accounts. But business will also be hit except for those industries which are involved in export. These firms will continue to get credit on special terms.
The new regulations come after a two percent increase in the rate for loans were put into effect two weeks ago as part of the government’s efforts to combat inflation.
ISRAEL-BRITISH BANK STILL IN TROUBLE
Meanwhile, an offer to purchase the failed Israel-British Bank by an international consortium was withdrawn after the prospective buyers said they could not meet the Bank of Israel conditions for the transaction. The Israel-British Bank, which is still under the Bank of Israel control, is still up for sale for another nine days. A Tel Aviv District Court earlier this week named lawyer Ezra Goddard as receiver for the bank. Goddard said the bank had 10 days to find a serious buyer.
The first offer–and so far the only one–came from an international consortium headed by Dr. Tibor Rosenbaum, the owner of International Credit Bank in Switzerland. The Bank of Israel said the government would underwrite $25 million of the Israel-British Bank’s debts for anyone willing to buy it, but the foreign group had already announced it was not interested.
In the meantime, the Bank of Israel is reportedly determined to underwrite losses of the British branch of the bank, but no official stand had been adopted. The Supreme Court over-ruled Monday a lower court’s decision and decided that Yehoshua Bension, former manager of the Israel-British Bank should remain in custody eight more days. Bension was arrested two weeks ago on suspicion of embezzling funds from the bank.
Cojo Sets Up Foundation to Foster and Develop Jewish Education Will Operate on $600,000 Annual Budge
July 17, 1973
GENEVA (Jul. 16)
The World Conference of Jewish Organizations (COJO) decided today to set up a foundation to foster and develop Jewish education throughout the world. The foundation will operate on a basic budget of $600,000 per year supplied by participating agencies and will also ask host countries to contribute additional funds. The foundation’s main tasks, as defined by Jewish Agency chairman Louis A. Pincus, will be to train teachers, produce adequate text books and establish a central pedagogic institute in Jerusalem.
Pincus, who spoke at the concluding session of the two-day conference, gave France, “a country with one of the saddest situations in this field,” as an example of what such a foundation could do. He said that “With a little help from COJO. France could find within itself the necessary funds to the tune of $200-300,000 per year needed for Jewish education.” The Jewish Agency chairman said that this money can be found in France without any cuts in the funds raised either for French UJA or for Israel.
Pincus said that the condition of Jewish education was “difficult” in many other areas. He spe cifically mentioned Iran and said that even in the United States “the situation was far from perfect.” He said that the three participating agencies–the World Zionist Organization, the Joint Distribution Committee and the State of Israel supply $200,000 a year each for two three years, enabling the foundation to have after this period an annual income of from $400-500,000 a year. The foundation will be administered, said Pincus by a small body sitting in Jerusalem.
RESURGENCE OF COMMITMENT AMONG U.S. JEWS
The conference heard an optimistic report of a “surprising resurgence of interest, identity and commitment among American Jews, including young Jews of college age.” Prof. Leonard Fein of Brandeis University cited the growth of departments and chairs of Judaic studies, the “flourishing” of Jewish journalism at university level, the study of Hebrew and Yiddish by unprecedented numbers of Jewish people as evidence that “the university campus in the U. S. can no longer be described as a ‘disaster’ area for Jewish life.”
Prof. Ady Steg, president of the Representative Council of French Jews (CRIF), said the situation of Jewish education in his country “was not as dramatic as some described it.” Speaking in Yiddish, Prof. Steg said that more and more young Jews examine world and sociological problems in the light of their “Jewishness” which is playing an increasingly important role in everyday life.
Hebrew University President Avraham Harman said that “Israel can play a role as a model and resource in the creation of indigenous Jewish leadership and cultural life outside Israel.” He “totally rejected” the view that Jewish survival depended on Jewish catastrophe as a binding force.
Prof. Nadav Safran of Harvard University’s Department of Government, criticized Israel for not doing enough to encourage Egypt’s “liberal forces that are willing to come to terms with the Jewish state.” He called for the creation of an Israeli “strategy of peace” to make a concerted effort to help Egypt’s liberal elements prevail against conservative and radical tendencies in that country. He said “when it comes to peace, Israel sits back and hopes liberals will prevail but much more must be done if that element in Egypt is to succeed in reversing the course of Egyptian history over the past 25 years.”
PINCUS ELECTED COJO CHAIRMAN
Pincus, chairman of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization Executives, was unanimously elected chairman of COJO at the close of the plenary meeting. Dr. Joachim Prinz of the World Jewish Congress, and David Blumberg, international president of B’nai B’rith were elected co-chairman of COJO. The vice-chairmen are: Sir Samuel Fisher, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews; Sol Kanee, president of the Canadian Jewish Congress; and Sion Cohen Imach of the DAIA in Argentina. Yehuda Hellman was re-elected Secretary General of COJO.
In addition to these officers, Mrs. Charlotte Jacobson, chairman of the WZO-American Section. Dr. William A. Wexler of B’nai B’rith and Tibor Rosenbaum of the World Jewish Congress were elected members of the presidium of COJO.
U.S. Mizrach Leader Urges Israel to Retain Entire West Bank Area
February 13, 1973
JERUSALEM (Feb. 12)
An American Mizrachi leader urged the Israeli government yesterday not to return any part of the West Dank to the Arabs. Rabbi Bernard Bergmann contended that “The government of Israel has no right or power to forego the inheritance of our forefathers which was restored to us through the Lord’s mercies and through the heroism of our sons.”
Rabbi Bergmann spoke for himself and for Rabbi Avigdor Tsipperstein of the U.S. and Rabbi Tibor Rosenbaum of Switzerland. The three comprise the new presidium of the religious Zionist movement which was elected yesterday. Rabbi Zemach Zambrowski of Israel, was re-elected chairman of the Merkaz Olami of the World Mizrachi Movement.
Rabbi Bergmann claimed that a firm stand by Israel would win U.S. support. He said it was “American Jewry’s pride that the present administration and its predecessor and both political parties have not disappointed Israel in either political or practical support.” He demanded that the Israeli government bar entry to members of the “Jews for Jesus” movement and called for legislation against all missionary work in Israel.
Pincus Re-elected Jewish Agency Head
February 8, 1973
JERUSALEM (Feb. 7)
Louis Pincus was today re-elected chairman of the Jewish Agency. Arye Dulzin was re-elected Treasurer-of the Jewish Agency. In addition, the 300 delegates to the Jewish Agency Assembly elected 42 members to the Board of Governors. Previously there were only 40 members, but this year the delegates decided to broaden the Board to include one new member each from designates of the World Zionist Organization and the United Jewish Appeal.
The new members of the Board of Governors are–from the designees of the WZO: Pincus, Mordecai Bar-On, Dulzin, Chaim Finkelstein, Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, Rabbi Richard Hirsch, Mrs. Charlotte Jacobson, Mrs. Raya-Jaglom, Rabbi Mordechai Kirshblum, Joseph Klarman, Moshe Krone, Rabbi Israel Miller, Andre Narboni, Prof. Allan Pollack, Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, Sam Rothberg, Avraham Schenker, Ezra Shapiro, Kalman Sultanik, Jacques Torczyner and Dr. Raanan Weitz.
From the designees of the UJA, the new Board members are: Max Fisher, Albert Adelman, Irving Blum (Baltimore was not on the previous Board), Victor Carter, Melvin Dubinsky, Raymond Epstein (of Chicago – who was not on the previous Board), Edward Ginsberg, Morris Levinson, Robert Russell, Jack D. Weiler, Philip Zinman (also new) and Paul Zuckerman. Max Fisher of Detroit is expected to be reelected chairman of the Board of Governors.
From the designees of bodies other than the WZO and the UJA, the new Board members are: Gordon, Brown of Canada, Isidor Magid of Australia (new), Judge Issi Maisels of South Africa, Leon Mirelman of Argentina, Hyman Morrison of Britain, Dr. Tibor Rosenbaum of Switzerland, Michael Sacher of Britain, Michel Topiol of France and Max Schein of Mexico. The slate of 42 new members was presented to the meeting and received unanimous approval.
Fewer Leaving Than Want to Go Wjc Expresses “anxiety” over Plight of Russian Jews
June 12, 1972
NEW YORK (Jun. 11)
The Governing Council of the World Jewish Congress registered “anxiety” at its closing session here Friday over the “increasing intimidation” of Soviet Jews, particularly those seeking exit permits to Israel. The Council also called for a world-wide commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the massacre of Jewish intellectuals in Russia which touched off the Stalin terror and marked the beginning of the liquidation of Jewish culture in the Soviet Union.
The resolution noted with appreciation the increased rate of Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union, and also “noted with regret that those who have been permitted to leave constitute only a small fraction of those who want to go.” The right to leave a country, the resolution said, is a basic human right of every person. The resolution also called attention to the continued imprisonment of 43 Russian Jews in forced labor camps, “often in harsh conditions.”
Dr. S. Levenburg, chairman of the WJC international affairs commission, who presented the report on Soviet Jewry, contrasted the cases of Angela Davis in California, who was freed in an open trial, with that of Sylvia Zalmanson, the Riga nurse who was sentenced to a labor camp only for demanding the right to leave for Israel.
GOLDMANN INVITES FOUR
The Council endorsed a proposal by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, WJC president, to invite four leading men in the WJC to work with him in dealing with its affairs. Those invited by Dr. Goldmann are Dr. Joachim Prinz of Orange, N.J., Governing Council Chairman; Dr. Tibor Rosenbaum of Geneva, treasurer; Dr. Gerhart Reigner of Geneva, secretary general; and Louis A. Pincus of Jerusalem, chairman of the executive of the World Zionist Organization.
The Council also took note of Dr. Goldmann’s intention to invite to meetings of this leadership all or some of the WJC regional chairmen, the heads of its international affairs and Israel political committees, heads of various departments, as well as representatives of major Jewish organizations affiliated with the WJC if their presence should be necessary for discussion of specific problems.
Since the Governing Council cannot make changes in the organizational structure of the WJC, it was understood that the WJC executive committee would review the situation at its meeting next year and confirm the composition of the leadership group, or make such changes as necessary. It was indicated that the final structure would rest with the plenary assembly which will meet in 1974 and make the necessary constitutional changes.
Jewish Agency Issues Complies List of Members of Executive, Board of Governors
July 1, 1971
JERUSALEM (Jun. 30)
The Jewish Agency today published the complete list of members elected to the executive of the reconstituted Jewish Agency and its the member Board of Governors, the policy-making body between sessions of the General Assembly. The General Assembly itself will comprise 296 members, half of them representatives of fund-raising bodies in Jewish communities throughout the world and the other half representing the World Zionist Organization. Louis A. Pincus of Jerusalem, as chairman of the General Assembly and the Executive, heads the reconstituted Jewish Agency, Max M. Fisher of Detroit, was elected chairman of the Board of Governors Lean Dulsin of Jerusalem is treasurer and Moshe Rivlin of Jerusalem was elected director general. Of the nine members of the Executive under Pincus, three are residents of the U.S.–Fisher, Edward Ginsberg of Cleveland and Melvin Dubinsky of St. Louis. One, Michael Sacher, is from England. The other five. all residents of Israel. are Dulzin; Dr. Ra’anan Weitz, head of the agricultural settlement department; Rabbi Mordechai Kirshblum, associate head of the immigration and absorption department; Joseph Klarman, head of Youth Aliyah; and Ezra Shapiro, newly elected chairman of Keren Hayesod. Two New Yorkers were elected associate members of the executive–Philip Bernstein, executive vice chairman of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds and Gottlieb Hammer, executive vice chairman of the United Israel Appeal. Ben-Zion Meiri, of Israel, was elected comptroller of the Agency.
Of the 40 member Board of Governors, 20 are Americans: Albert Adelman, Milwaukee; Victor Carter. Los Angeles, Melvin Dubinsky, St. Louis, Rabbi Loon I, Feuer, Toledo; Max M. Fisher, Detroit; Edward Ginsberg, Cleveland; Prof, Ben Halpern, Waltham, Mass; Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, Englewood, New Jersey; Mrs. Charlotte Jacobson, New York City; Morris Lovinson, New York City; Joseph Meyerhoff, Baltimore; Rabbi Israel Miller, New York City; Dr. Emanuel Neumann, New York City; Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, New York City; Robert Russell, Miami; Samuel Rothberg, Peoria, III.; Louis Stern, Essex County, New Jersey; Dewoy D. Stone, Brockton, Mass.; Jack Weiler, New York City; and Paul Zuckerman, Detroit. The Israeli members of the Board of Governors are: Mordechai Bar On, Leon Dulzin, Hayim Finkelstein, Rabbi Israel Goldstein, Mrs. Raya Jagblom, Rabbi Mordechai Kirschblum, Joseph Klarman, Moshe Krone, Andre Narboni, Louis A. Pincus, Avraham Schenker. and Dr. Ra’anan Weitz. Of the eight other members of the Board of Governors, two are from Great Britain–Hyam Morrison and Michael Sacher–and one each from: France, Melech Topiol; Switzerland. Dr. Tibor Rosenbaum; South Africa, Judge Israel Maisels; Brazil, Leon Feffer; Argentina, Leon Mirelman; and Canada, Gordon Brown.
Swiss Consul Who Risked His Life to Save Jews Honored in Geneva
February 7, 1962
GENEVA (Feb. 6)
Charles Lutz, a wartime Consul General for Switzerland in Budapest, who risked his life to save thousands of Jews from the Nazi gas chambers, was honored here for his services to Hungarian Jewry.
His services were lauded by representatives of the American Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency at a dinner given in his honor. Attending the event were Moshe Partur, Israel’s permanent representative to the European office of the United Nations in Geneva; Charles H. Jordan, JDC director general; Eban Laor, Jewish Agency representative for Europe; and Tibor Rosenbaum, director of Helvis.
As Swiss Consul General, Mr. Lutz issued from 1943 to 1945 protective letters to thousands of Jews, thus delaying their deportation by Gestap o Colonel Adolf Eichmann until they were liberated by the Allied forces. When all diplomatic and Consular missions, except Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish Consul General, left Budapest, Mr. Lutz remained. At the risk of his life, he waived diplomatic regulations to save the lives of Hungarian Jews. A sum of money was contributed in his name to be used to aid rescue activities for Jews throughout the world.
Six Zionist Leaders, One Non-jew Sentenced in Hungary for Aiding Migration to Israel
June 20, 1949
BUDAPEST (Jun. 19)
Six Zionist leaders and one non-Jew were last night convicted of organizing and promoting the illegal mass emigration of Israel-bound Hungarian Jews and were sentenced by a Hungarian court to varying sentences ranging from six months to three years. The other defendants were acquitted and the tenth was not tried at the same time because he was Orthodox and preferred not appearing in court on the Sabbath.
During the 15-hour trial the largest court room in Budapest was jammed with Jew who followed the proceedings attentively. No witnesses, other than the defendants, were heard. Three of the nine withdrew earlier confessions made to the police and two the men who withdrew their confessions were acquitted. The other defendants pleaded guilty, either fully or partially.
The chief defendants, Dr. Bela Denes, former vice-president of the dissolved Zionist Federation and a Mapai leader, and Sand or Kertesz, Mapam leader, were sentenced to three-year terms. Magda Weiss, 19 year old Zionist youth leader, received a two-year-and-two-month sentence; Menyner Ferd, two years and six months; Sand or Dienes, the non-Jew, and Miklos Frankfurter, two years and eight months each; and, Aladar Felkai, two years and six months. Sandor Fleischmann and Dr. Bela Schwartz were acquitted. Jenoe Fraenki, a Mizrachi leader, was the defendant who was not tried with the others.
The prosecution, headed by Gyula Alapy, chief of the Budapest office of the Attorney General, charged that the defendants had violated a law passed in 1948 which was aimed at protecting the Hungarian people from “Anglo-Saxon propaganda.” Alapy also declared that the defendants were “tools in the hands of the imperialists” and asserted that the funds used in organizing mass migration came from the same sources abroad which support “Ferenc Nagy, Zoltan Pfeiffer and the Voice of America.” (Mr. Nagy is a former Hungarian Premier who fled the country and Mr. Pfeiffer was head of the Independence Party before him, too, fled.
Finally, the prosecution pointed out that the Zionists had been in contact with foreign emissaries,” which he said was a serious situation because it gave the foreigners an “easy” source of information. The prosecutor, who called the defendants “misled,” pointed out that Zionism was not the Issue of the trial.
COUNSEL CITES HISTORY OF NAZI TERROR TO EXPLAIN DEFENDANTS’ ACTIONS
The defense asserted that the law under which the ten were being tried was aimed not at them but at “hostile, anti-democratic elements” and was not applicable in the case of any of the defendants. Defense counsel also analyzed the background of the defendants and the recent history of the Jews of Hungary as well as the history of the Zionist movement.
Under the lead of the leftists among them, the defendants pointed out that they wished to go to Israel to build socialism in the Jewish state and that the migration movement was organized for this reason. They denied being “tools of imperialism.”
Dr. Denes, who was specifically charged with aiding the illegal flight of over 100 persons of military age, pleaded partially guilty to aiding the illegal migration movement through the “spiritual leadership” of the Mapai youth movement. He denied that any Joint Distribution Committee funds had teen used to organize the youth movement, as had teen alleged. He pointed out that until the middle of last December passport had been issued to applicants headed for Israel and that after that date an extended legal discussion had left the status of these people unsettled, presenting them with no alternative but illegal flight.
DEFENDANTS EXPLAIN REASONS FOR THEIR ACTIONS5
Mr. Kertesz, a survivor of the Mauthausen death camp, declared in his defense that the Jewish youth could not be restrained, “so we endeavored to act as traffic police by organizing the groups and giving them advice,” He added that he was convinced that it would have been of no use, even harmful, to have attempted to restrain the young migrants.
Both Dr. Denes and Mr. Kertesz insisted that they were unaware that they were committing an offense because of the “tacit toleration” of the authorities for several weeks after the voluntary dissolution of the Zionist Federation, They also pointed out that they understood that a list of some 800 Zionist functionaries who had been praised visas to leave the country had been drawn up. The discussion of this list was alleged by the court to be another illegal act.
Miss Weiss pleaded guilty, in one of the most dramatic speeches heard during the lengthy trial day. She told the court of her arrest by the Nazis, at the age of 13, and of her loss of both parents in concentration camps. She also disclosed that she had teen imprisoned in the same camp as Chana Szenes, the Jewish heroine executed by the Nazis during the war. Heading guilty only in the sense of having violated the Hungarian law, Miss Weiss asserted that her future lay in Israel alone.
Hungarian Vice-premier Says Jews Free to Emigrate; Charges Opposition is Anti-semitic
June 27, 1947
Prague (Jun. 26)
The Hungarian Government will place no obstacles in the way of Jews desiring to emigrate to Palestine or any other country, and emigrants will be permitted to take along all their valuables, Vice-Premier Matyas Rakosi of Hungary told a press conference here today.
Rakosi charged that the opposition group in Hungary, which was allegedly headed by former Premier Ferenc Nagy, had among its aims re-introduction of racial laws.
Head of Hungarian Land Restitution Board Charged with Anti-semitic Bias
March 20, 1947
BUDAPEST (Mar. 19)
Peter Veress, leader of the Peasant Party and hand of the Land Distribution Board, which is charged with restitution of landed property confiscated by the pro-Nazi regime, has been accused of anti-Jewish bias by Cedean Anti, a Small Holder Party deputy.
In an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Anti said that he had discovered numerous cases of discrimination in returning land to Jews and charged that Feress and reactionary officials under his control had displayed partisanship in cases involving fascists and fascist sympathizers. Anti asserted that similar bias exists in other government bureaus but that cabinet officials are not involved and that Premier Ferenc Nagy has promised him support in a campaign to eliminate discrimination.
Prominent Political, Clerical Figures Ask Abolishment of Hungarian Anti-jewish Laws
September 14, 1943
Zurich (Sep. 13)
A wide-spread campaign to secure the abolishment of the anti-Jewish laws in Hungary is gaining headway and is enlisting the support of influential political figures, according to information received here today.
At a meeting of the agricultural section of the “Small Holders Party” this week, the group’s president, Ferenc Nagy, attacked “attempts against the purest humanitarian idea of freedom by branding every man uttering words of freedom ‘Democracy’s Jewish Hireling.'” He said that “measures taken to solve the Jewish question have violated our Christian feelings” and demanded the abolition of all legislation discriminating against any Hungarian citizens.
Prominent religious leaders, headed by the Catholic churchman, Father Varga, and the Protestant pastor, Tildy, have begun to campaign for annulment of anti-Semitic legislation. They have declared publicly that “if Hungary wishes to be considered a Christian state, it must not discriminate among its citizens.”
Behind the Headlines Ask Why Auschwitz Was Not Bombed
March 9, 1979
WASHINGTON (Mar. 8)
Three Senators have called for a fresh U.S. investigation of why the Allied forces did not attempt to disrupt the slaughter in the death camps of Auschwitz in World War II.
Their statements Tuesday came after the Central Intelligence Agency released aerial reconnaissance photographs last week showing the Auschwitz layout and passed them on to the National Archives and to the White House. President Carter gave the photographs to the Holocaust Commission which he appointed last November to establish a suitable remembrance of the victims of the Nazi horror.
Two freshmen Senators, Carl Levin (D, Mich.) and Rudy Boschwitz (R. Minn.), himself a refugee as a child from Nazi Germany, brought the matter to the Senate’s attention, following the publication of the Auschwitz photos Shortly after their statement, Sen. William Proxmire (D. Wis.) making his daily appeal for Senate ratification of the United Nations Genocide Convention, pointed to the photographs as further evidence of the need for acceptance of the anti-genocide provision as U.S. law.
Levin, whose maiden speech in the Senate in January urged approval of the Genocide Convention, spoke on behalf of himself and Boschwitz regarding Auschwitz He pointed out that “the photographs taken in 1944 and 1945 provide further evidence that Allied authorities were aware of the slaughter taking place at Auschwitz during the latter years of the war, which makes even more disturbing the fact that no direct attempt was ever made to disrupt it.”
A LINGERING PAINFUL QUESTION
The question of why the Allies did not undertake any military action against the camp or the rail lines used to transport prisoners to it “has been a painful one throughout the postwar years,” Levin said. “The just released photographs do not by any means represent the first evidence that the Allies were aware of the Auschwitz death camp.”
Historian David Wyman, Levin noted, published “Why Auschwitz was Never Bombed” in the May 1948 issue of Commentary magazine. Author Joseph Borkin, whose recent book,” The Crime and Punishment of I. G. Farben” received favorable reviews, also discussed this episode in World War II history.
Levin observed that “despite repeated appeals that the U.S. direct bombing raids at the rail lines or the murder installations at the camp, the War Department consistently refused. “He quoted a War Department statement in 1944 after it was urged to bomb Auschwitz that “the suggested air operation is impracticable for the reason that it could be executed only by division of considerable air support essential to the success of our forces now engaged In decisive operations Borkin told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that this statement was made by John McCloy, then Assistant Secretary for War.
“No purpose would be served by an attempt to assign blame retrospectively for the failure to take steps which might have saved so many lives, “Levin said.
“I do not think, however, that we could learn a great deal about how our society and its decision-makers react to humanitarian crises. The vicissitudes of the current Administration’s human rights policies demonstrate that we, as a nation, still have not resolved this critical problem of how humanitarian concerns should be interrelated with what are perceived to be our overriding political and military interests. This conflict is nowhere more poignantly illustrated than in our reaction to the inestimable tragedy of the Nazi Holocaust.”
INEFFECTIVE RESPONSE TO HOLOCAUST
Levin expressed “hope the President will direct all federal agencies to release all information which bears upon these events, so that we may reconstruct with greater accuracy the historial record of that era, and draw from it lessons which may help guide our future conduct.”
Levin also pointed out that “the investigation and prosecution of suspected Nazi war criminals, further demonstrates this country’s ineffective response to this terrible tragedy. Despite Congressional direction the immigration and Naturalization Service has not seen fit to wholeheartedly investigate and prosecute the hundreds of persons who were involved in the Holocaust and who have entered this country illegally since then.”
In his address to the Senate, Proxmire declared that “two and one-half million Jews are reported to have been killed at Auschwitz, 12,000 each day. While aerial photographs were being taken, nearly one million Hungarian Jews were being transported in boxcars to Auschwitz.”
By June 1944, Proxmire continued, “Washington knew all about Auschwitz, yet the rail line leading to the camp, as well as the gas chambers, were never bombed. Why is this? why did we overlook the wholesale murder of millions of Jews?” Thirty-five years later, said Proxmire, who has been fighting against genocide every business day in the Senate for II years, “Auschwitz is history But for some, the memory of Auschwitz the memory of having witnessed genocide — is terrifyingly vivid.”
Harry Greenstein, Active in Jewish Communal Affairs, Dies at 74
August 2, 1971
BALTIMORE (Aug. 1)
Harry Greenstein, the executive director of the Association of Jewish Charities and Welfare Fund of Baltimore from 1928 to 1965, was buried here today. Greenstein. a native of this city, died Friday of a heart condition at the age of 74. During the late 1940’s he served as an advisor on Jewish affairs in Germany to General Lucius Clay, Commander-in-Chief of U.S. armed forces in West Germany and John J. McCloy, the first U.S. High Commissioner to West Germany. A social worker, he was Maryland’s Relief Administrator from 1933 to 1936. During 1937 and 1938, he was president of the National Conference of Jewish Community Service.
Human Rights Award Given Mccloy As J. D. A. Resumes $6,100,000 Drive
October 12, 1960
NEW YORK (Oct. 11)
John J. McCloy, former United States High Commissioner for Germany, received tonight the seventh annual Human Rights Award of the Joint Defense Appeal of the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.
The award, which is given each year to an American “whose contributions to the nation’s welfare epitomize the goals and ideals of the American Jewish committee and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Blrith,” was presented to Mr. McCloy by Judge Joseph M. Proskauer, at a dinner marking the resumption of the fall phase of the Appeal campaign for $6,100,000. Gustave L. Levy was guest of honor at the dinner.
W.j.c. Director Scores Isolation of Jews in “iron Curtain” Countries
June 5, 1953
NEW YORK (Jun. 4)
Jews behind the Iron Curtain continue to endure the tragic burden of isolation from the Jews of the rest of the world, Abraham S. Hyman, newly-appointed administrative director of the World Jewish Congress, asserted at the annual meeting last night of the Brooklyn Division of the American Jewish Congress.
Mr. Hyman, a former advisor on Jewish affairs to U.S. High Commissioner McCloy and Gen. Keyes in 1949 and 1950, and former general council of the United States War Claims Commission, said that “the process of sealing off the Jewish community in the Soviet Union and her satellites from even the remotest and most innocent relations with Jewish communities abroad, has virtually been completed.”
American Jewish Committee Warns of Danger to Jews in U.S.S.R.
January 26, 1953
NEW YORK (Jan. 25)
Jews in the United States were warned today that “the security of 2,500,000 Jews in the Soviet Union and satellite countries is at stake.” The warning was Issued by Benjamin J. Buttenwieser, chairman of the 46th annual meeting of the American Jewish Committee which will take place here this coming week-end.
The growing anti-Semitism in Soviet Russia and the satellite countries will be one of the major topics of discussion for the 500 Jewish leaders who will attend the three-day meeting. One of the principal speakers at the gathering will be John J. McCloy, former U.S. Commissioner for Germany, who will give a behind-the-scenes report on events in Europe.
Claims Conference Ratifies Reparations Pact with Germany
September 25, 1952
NEW YORK (Sep. 24)
The policy committee of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, representing 23 major Jewish organizations throughout the world, today ratified agreements signed by the Conference with the West German Federal Republic and with the State of Israel under which it is to receive $107,000,000 in settlement of material claims against Germany and under which West Germany agreed to improve its restitution and indemnification legislation.
The conference also voted to incorporate itself in order to enable it to discharge its responsibilities under the agreements.
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, chairman of the Conference, who signed the agreement with German Chancellor Konrad Ademuer at Luxemburg, told the conference that “we are all agreed, and the majority of Jewish public opinion supports our view, that the negotiations have ended successfully for Israel and the Conference although we did not obtain all we wanted.” He said that “we have achieved great improvements in restitution and indemnification for hundreds of thousands of Jewish victims of Nazi persecution, even though we could not obtain German acceptance of our demands concerning Jews from Austria and a number of similar issues.”
GERMANS OPPOSED GLOBAL PAYMENTS TO CONFERENCE
Dr. Goldmann disclosed that during the negotiations the Germans strenuously opposed global payment to the Conference, maintaining that material settlement should be with Israel alone and Conference negotiations should be restricted to questions of legislation. He pointed out that the concept of a global payment to a nongovernmental ad hoc body possessing no juridical status in international law was admittedly unprecedented, and the achievement of securing German agreement was not only important because it enabled additional aid to Jewish victims of Nazism, but also because it established a precedent of major significance.
Referring to settlement of Israel’s claims, Dr. Goldmann declared that “our support of Israel’s claim was, from the very first, an important factor in obtaining Germany’s commitment.” The Israel Government, he declared, was appreciative of this fact. He pointed out that the settlement gives Israel a unique opportunity to build up her industry, agriculture, transportation system and power but warned that the American Jewish community “must not take the view that the goods received from Germany obviate Israel’s need for financial assistance from abroad.” Gains from the settlement, he said, “could quickly be converted into losses if American Jews should decide to cut down on UJA assistance and on Israel bond purchases.”
Speaking of the moral implications of the agreement, Dr. Goldmann recalled the controversy over acceptance of the German bid to negotiate and said that “we would have committed a moral injustice, a sin of omission, had we refused to negotiate, however delicate and difficult it all seemed in its initial stages. Even if these negotiations had not involved material benefits to Israel and the Jewish victims of Nazism, our generation still would have been morally bound to make every possible effort to obtain recognition of the moral principle that a nation which has committed crimes against our people, must make amends. The fact that a powerful and sovereign state has done so establishes a historic precedent of importance to all people.”
Dr. Goldmann referred to the “immeasurable assistance” of Secretary of State Dean Acheson. British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and U.S. High Commissioner John J. McCloy, but said that “Germany would not have been forced into these agreements had her leaders been reluctant or unwilling.”
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN JEWS, GERMANS WILL BE SETTLED IN FUTURE
The Conference chairman made it clear that in his view, “the Luxemburg agreements have not settled the historical issues of the relations between the Germans and Jewry following the Nazi desecration of our people… History alone can settle them and much will depend on the future development of Germany, her desire and ability to extirpate the residues of Nazism, racism and anti-Semitism. It will take time for Germany to achieve this. I know that the German Chancellor and the President of the Federal Republic are eager to embark upon such a policy, and are already considering concrete measures in this general direction. We shall welcome such policy and look forward to its successful implementation.”
Dr. Goldmann paid warm tribute to Chancellor Adenauer, saying that he had been convinced of his sincerity when he first met him in London in 1951 and received from him a letter accepting Israel’s claim for one billion dollars as the basis of negotiations. He said that Dr. Adenauer’s determination carried the issue over opposition within the German Government to acceptance of the global payments and the legislative program that will cost Germany up to two billion dollars, and over pressure from the Arabs.
He eulogized members of the negotiating teams and members of the Conference presidium and said that “our cooperation hitherto augurs well for the future.” He told the session that, “in all humility, and without indulgence in self praise, we may state today that we have rendered a great service to Israel and to the Jewish people. May I add that I am happy for having pursued this policy, for having taken the initiative to convene the Conference and for meeting with the German Chancellor. I look back upon my effort of the past year with gratification and some measure of pride.
“Our generation of Jews witnessed the greatest disaster in all Jewish history, but also the greatest achievement in contemporary Jewish history–the creation of the State of Israel, “he concluded. “The rebuilding of Jewish life from the horror perpetrated by the Nazis confronted us with unparalleled and unprecedented problems. The negotiations with Germany were among the most formidable of these problems. We met the challenge with dignity, solemnity and a high sense of responsibility. Above all else, we should be proud of our spectacular contribution towards the triumph of justice and morality.”
Moses A, Leavitt, who headed the Conference negotiating team at The Hague, presented a detailed report on the legislative aspects of the agreement to which Germany had committed itself. He described it as “a program which is aimed at providing greater benefits to a larger number of victims of Nazism seeking restitution and indemnification. He expressed himself as “hopeful that the German Parlia- ment will enact the required legislation and appropriate funds for implementation so that those victims who have waited so long would now be granted what is rightfully theirs.”
BEN GURION PRAISES GOLDMANN ROLE IN NEGOTIATIONS
Premier David Ben Gurion of Israel, in a letter read to the session, praised Dr. Goldmann for “the notable part you have played in concluding the agreement on the claims to reparations from the West German Government by the State of Israel and the Jewish people.” He declared that “your energy, wisdom and tact, as well as your courage, had a decisive part in those negotiations.”
The premier stressed the importance of the participation of the Jewish organizations in the negotiations and extolled the “harmonious cooperation” between the representatives of Israel and of the Conference. He expressed the government’s appreciation to the organizations “for their invaluable help, good will and dignified stand” and its thanks for “their magnificent share in this historic achievement.”
Mr. Ben Gurion said that while it was too early to assess the practical value of the agreement, “it is difficult to over-emphasize its moral and political significance.” For the first time, he said, “a precedent has been established whereby a Great Power undertakes, under moral pressure only, to pay reparations to victims of its former Government. For the first time in the history of the Jewish people, oppressed and plundered for hundreds of years in all countries of the Old World, the oppressor and plunderer has had to hand back some of the spoils and pay collective compensation for part of the material losses.
“This,” the premier declared, “is without any doubt an outcome of the rebirth of the State of Israel. The rights and interests of Jewry are no longer undefended; they now have their defender.”
The premier added that the success of the negotiations “enhances the prestige of the Jewish people throughout the world and strengthens international ethics.” If fulfilled by the Germans, he said, it will serve as “an impressive contribution towards consolidating the economic independence of Israel and as a substantial compensation to those victims of Nazi persecution who are still alive.”
French Army Reinstates Fourteen Jewish Generals Ousted by Vichy
November 12, 1944
PARIS (Nov. 10)
Fourteen Jewish generals have been returned to their posts in the French Army, the Ministry of War announced today. The officers were ousted after the adoption of the Vichy anti-Jewish laws.
Those reinstated are: Albert Bauman, Armand Aaron Bloch, Emile Gabriele Bloch, Pierre Boris, Jacob Elghezi, Ruben Job, Pierre Eliezer Lazard, Leopold Levy, Lucien Mayer Levy, Rene Nathan Levy, Ramond Elie Naquet-la Roque, Leon Rheims, Alphonse Weiler and Gustave Worms.
French-jewish Leaders in America Form Committee to Re-establish Judaism in France
May 25, 1944
NEW YORK (May. 24)
French-Jewish leaders in the United States today announced the establishment of an Association for the Re-establishment of Judaism in France and its colonies and possessions. Among the first acts of the association was the placing of an order for 10,000 prayer books to be printed in America in Hebrew and in French for distribution among Jewish soldiers serving in the French armed forces.
The new body, incorporated by the Secretary of State in Albuny under the name “Association pour is Reestablishment du Judaisme en France et dansses Possessions d’Outremer (ARJF),” will help to establish and maintain contact between agencies engaged in the promotion of Jewish rehabilitation and relief projects in France and its colonies. It also contemplates the restoration of Jewish religious life in France, to provide housing facilities for worship, supply ceremonial vestments and procure rabbis to serve Jewish congregations.
Leaders of the association include Baron Edouard de Rothschild, Baron Robert de Rothschild, Andre Meyer of Lazard Freres, Rabbi S. Langer and Edmond and Alfred Weil. The association will have its main office in New York with branches throughout the country and in France. The certificate of incorporation filed by Emil Weitzner, lawyer for the group, says that the purpose of the association is to raise, provide and disburse funds.
Services to Be Held Monday for Blumenthal
June 29, 1941
NEW YORK (Jun. 27)
Private funeral services will be held Monday for George Blumenthal, financier, philanthropist and president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who died at his home yesterday at the age of 83 after a long illness. He was active in philanthropy, having given nearly $1,000,000 for Mt. Sinai Hospital. A native of Frankfort-am-Main, Germany, he was a member of the banking firm of Speyer & Co. and later a partner in Lazard Freres.
France Bars 23 from Citizenship; Rothschilds Lose Appeal
October 31, 1940
VICHY (Oct. 30)
A list of 23 persons who have been deprived of their French citizenship for fleeing the country in the last few weeks of the war has been issued here.
The following are included in the list: Henri Torres, noted lawyer; Leonard Rosenthal, well-known jeweler; Andre Meyer, manager of the banking firm of Lazard freres; Pierre Lazareff, a former editor of the newspaper Paris-Soir; Vera Korene, a star of the Comedie Francaise; Jacques Epstein, manager of the, newspaper L’Ordre; Georges Bollack, industrialist; Paul Louis Weiller, industrialist and Claude Levy, mayor of Orleans.
Requests for restoration of French citizenship submitted by members of the Rothschild banking family were rejected by the Vichy Government. However, the Government abrogated two decrees depriving Leon Stern, banker, and David Weill, philanthropist, of their citizenship. Both men were able to give valid reasons for their departure from France.
Mrs. Lehman’s Nephew Killed in Airplane Crash
January 16, 1936
NEW YORK (Jan. 15)
Charles Altschul, nephew of Mrs. Herbert H. Lehman and son of the president of Lazard Freres, bankers, was one of the seventeen killed when an American Airlines plane crashed last night near Goodwin, Ark., it was learned today. Five other Jews met death in the crash, including three members of the Charles Horowitz family of Boston.
Anti-semite Indictment of Jews in France ‘absurd’
February 13, 1934
PARIS (Feb. 8)
(J.T.A. Special Correspondence)
The part played by the French Jews in the economic life of their country has again been the subject of the most absurd statements on the part of certain French anti-Semitic elements. According to them, the Jews practically own the country, and are its financial and economic overlords. France, like most of the countries in the world, is passing through a fairly severe economic crisis, and the first tendency is to blame somebody for all the difficulties. And, in accordance with the good old tradition, certain sections of the population are using the Jew as the whipping boy. The assertions of these anti-Semitic elements are so grossly exaggerated as not to deserve serious consideration. At the same time, it is of some interest to examine the part played by the Jews in French industry and finance, for this is a field which has so far not been investigated.
The heavy industry, to start with the most important, is entirely free from Jewish influence. In spite of the fact that the French Jews are almost completely assimilated, they have never succeeded in establishing a foothold in this economic life of France. This applies equally to the iron and engineering and to the coal-mining industries. The only exception is the Strass-burg coal-owner Bauman, whose interests, however, lie chiefly in Germany. With this sole exception, not a single Jewish name of any importance is to be found in this or any of the allied industries.
NO JEWISH LIQUOR BARONS
The most representative French industry, wine and champagne, is also completely in French hands. The same applies to the very important textile industry in Northern France, though a certain number of Jews can be found in the textile industry of Alsace. This in due to the fact that Alsace was in German hands for nearly fifty years, and the Jews have Kept the influence they gained there under the Germans. No Jews can be found in the building trade, or in the ship building or shipping industries.
With the exception of the Alsace textile industry, then, the Jews are non-existent in the above-mentioned industries, which account for more than two thirds of the French national output. This in itself should be sufficient to in validate the assertion that the Jews “own the country.”
Then come a number of industries in which the Jews are to a certain extent represented, though even here the part they play is a very small one. The oil industry has one important Jewish firm, that of Wallabreg, and in the sugar industry a fairly important part is played by the old Franco-Jewish family of Schwob-d’Eri-court. Fuld-Springer is one of the leading men in the tinned foods industry. In the cloth industry there is only one Jewish name of note: Andre Herzog. But he is known not because of the size of his undertaking, but because this name “Andre Herzog” is the name of the famous author who writes under the pseudonym of “Andre Maurois.” The sensation-hunting French journalists, discovering this fact, have. Boosted this relatively small family enterprise of the famous writer and historian.
An important part in the economic life of France is played by Heineman, who is not a French Jew at all, but a Belgian one, and who controls a considerable number of electrical undertakings. His mane-is frequently used, or rather misused, in the anti-Semitic press.
THE JEWISH FOR
In the large and growing motor industry, there are two Jewish undertakings of importance, Citroen and Resergarten. The latter has recently been very successful in launching a new light and elegant. though relatively cheap car, and has thus evoked a lot of hitterness among the competition. But Cilroen and Resengarten together are not nearly as big as some of the “French” firms, such as Renault, Peugeot, etc.
This, then, is a short survery of the Jews in French industry. As can be seen, the part they play is by no means important. There remain the banks and the stock exchange. Of the seventy-one registered agents on the Paris stock exchange, only two or three are Jews. Among the exchange brokers, there is a larger number of Jews, but even here it would be quite impossible to speak of “Jewish domination.”
Among the banks there are a few Jewish ones of importance, the chief of them being. Lazard Brothers, Louis Hirsch, Rueff and Daniel Dreyfuss. The vast majority of the so-called “big banks” belong to pure Frenchmen, mostly members of old aristocratic French families. Not a single Jewish name can be found among them. Here again there is one exception, the “Comptoir National d’Escompte,” in which the Jewis banking family of Bachman hold a large parcel of shares. Among the directors of the big banks there is only one Jewish name: Finali.
And the Rothschilds? No, I have not forgotten them. The Rothschilds are still regarded as the personification of wealth and power. The Paris Rothschild is still one of the wealthies men in France, with a fortune estimated at $60,000,000. He has kept his wealth, but he has long ceased to be a factor of very great importance in the financial world. His fortune is to a large extent locked up in very sound long-term securities, which reduces the element of risk to a minimum, but at the same time reduces its importance as a financial factor. The times are passed when Baron Rothschild could make or unmake governments. For the last thirty years, Rothschild has ceased to play his previous part in the financial world. His money is invested in the “Chemin de Fer du Nord” (Northern Railway Company). His bank does little banking business. It merely administers the Rothschild holdings, and has little importance either in the banking world or no the stock exchange. Rothschild has long ceased to be the active leader that he once was in the financial world of France.
DREYFUSS BANK IN ASCENDANCE
The Dreyfuss bank, on the other hand, has grown in importance or late years. The Dreyfuss family used to be among the greatest corn merchants in the world, with large interests in Russia, Argentina and Australia. The Russian revolution deprived them of a large section of their trade, and they began to think of other means of using their energies and their capital, which is estimated at some $13,000,000. They became interested in a large number of different industries, among them the film industy, and became the chief shareholders in the biggest and most influential French newspaper, “l’Intransigeant.” Louis Dreyfuss himself, the present head of the firm, also takes a considerable interest in polities, and represents one of the Alpine constituencies in the French Parliament. In business circles, however, it is said that he has not been very lucky with many of his new undertakings.
In trade, too, there are very few #rominent Jewish names. Of the cen large department stores, only one, the “Galleries Lafayette,” is in Jewish hand. Its owner, Bader, also holds considerable interests in the clothing and boot trade. In the French boot trade there is one other Jewish under taking of not “Andre” belonging to Jero# Levi. The world famous French fashion and dress industry contains not a single promiment’ Jewish firm.
The result of our investigation is more than modest. It shows that the Jews play an almost in significant part in the economic #Ife of Prance and proves the aburdity of the assertions of the French anti-Semities.
1,350,000 Francs Donated for Relief of Refugees
June 26, 1933
Paris (Jun. 24)
Between 10,000 and 12,000 francs are being spent daily by the “HICEM” committee here for relief work among German Jews in Paris.
During the last two weeks 1,350,000 francs were donated to the fund for relief. Biggest contributors were the Rothschilds, 500,000 francs; David-Weill, 100,000 francs; Lazard Company, 100,000 francs, and Goldsoll, 100,000 francs.
Head of Berlin Frankfort Banking Firm Dies
March 9, 1933
Berlin (Mar. 8)
The death has occurred here of Eduard Beit von Speyer, who, until his retirement two years ago, was Chairman of the Lazard Speyer-Ellissen banking firm.
Eduard Beit von Speyer was descended from an old Hamburg Jewish family. He received his education in Hamburg, subsequently gaining his business experience in London and Paris. He first came to New York in 1887, entering the banking house of Speyer & Co. In 1893 he was sent to the old Frankfort firm, Lazard Speyer-Ellissen, and in 1896 he became a partner of that firm as well as Speyer & Co., of New York.
In 1892 Mr. Beit von Speyer married Lucie Speyer of Frankfort o/Main, sister of Mr. James Speyer of New York. She died during the World War in 1918.
Mr. Beit von Speyer did not confine his activities to the banking business. He took a prominent interest in the social and civic life of Frankfort o/Main. He was particularly active in furthering educational and scientific movements, and the University of Frankfort conferred upon him many honors.
Jews Make Gifts to United Hospital Fund
November 6, 1932
A number of Jewish firms and individuals have made gifts to the United Hospital Fund of New York through the Bankers’ and Brokers’ Committee, it was announced by James Speyer and Charles H. Sabin, chairman and Associate Chairman of the Committee.
Gifts of $6,000 were contributed by Kuhm Loeb and Co., Speyer and Company; $2,500 by George Blumenthal, $1,000 by Lazard Freres; $750 by J. and W. Seligman and Co.; $100, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Baerwald; Mr. Baerwald is chairman of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
Jews Generous Contributors to Flood Sufferers’ Fund
March 13, 1930
Paris (Mar. 12)
The Jewish banking firms of Rothschild, Lazards, Weill and Dreyfus have been among the largest contributors to the emergency fund for the flood sufferers in southern France. The Rothschilds gave one million francs, the Lazards 250,000, Weill 50,000, and Dreyfus 50,000, while the list of minor donors contains an abundance of Jewish names.
Jewish Bankers in $ 102,000,000 Roumanian Loan
February 14, 1929
The $102,000,000 stabilization loan to the Roumanian government, which will be offered today on the financial market will have the cooperation of leading Jewish banking houses.
Reports current in the New York financial district concerning the loan state that among the large group of bankers who are participating are Dillon, Read & Co., New York; Lazard Brothers & Co., Ltd., London; A. J. Dreyfus & Co., Simon Hirschland, A. Levy, Sal Oppenheim, Jr. & Cie, M. M. Warburg & Co., all of Germany, Mendelssohn Co. of Amsterdam.
J.D.B. News Letter
November 23, 1927
Los Angeles (Nov. 22)
Many New Activities Mark Growth of Los Angeles Jewish Community (By Our Los Angeles Correspondent)
The closing months of 1927 are attended by a number of significant events in various walks of the Jewish community life in Los Angeles. There is the intensive participation of the Jewish leaders and population of this city in the huge $2,750,000 Community Chest drive of Los Angeles, out of which amount $426,000 will be allotted to the local Jewish agencies of welfare. There is the much prepared-for conversion of the “California Jewish Voice,” an Anglo-Yiddsh weekly, into a daily. There is the corner-stone laying of the new $200,000 Jewish Alliance Club House donated by the Hamburger family. Preparations for the building of a new $1.000,000 B’nai B’rith Temple; the purchase of a 100 acre camp by the local Workmen’s Circle and many other recent events testify to the growth and progress of the Jewish community of this city.
There are five Reform temples and sixteen Orthodox and Conservative congregations in Los Angeles. Of the congregations, E’nai B’rith, Edgar F. Magnin, Rabbi, is the largest and oldest, dating back to 1862. Of the institutions of religious learning the Hebrew Talmudic Academy Yeshivah Torah is outstanding.
A partial list of the local Jewish institutions of welfare may give the due impression as to the scope of community activities of the Los Angeles Jewry. The list is topped by the Federation of Jewish Welfare Organizations, I. Irving Lipsitch executive director, some of whose important constituent societies are: Jewish Big Brothers’ Association; Hebrew Consumptive Relief Association; Jewish Aid Society of Los Angeles; Jewish Alliance of Los Angeles; Jewish Orphans’ Home of So. California; League for the Assistance of Jewish Students; Jewish Loan and Housing Association; Jewish Committee for Personal Service in State Institutions; Los Angeles Jewish Dispensary; Kaspare Cohn Hospital; Modern Social Centre; Jewish Mothers’ Alliance Day Nursery.
George Mossbacher is president of the Federation. Ben R. Meyer, Irving H Hellman, Louis B. Mayer, I Eisner, and Henry W. Louis arc some of the local Jewish leaders.
Other Jewish organizations of welfare outside of the Federation are: Hebrew Sheltering Home for the Aged; Los Angeles Home for Inclurables; Council of Jewish Women; Jewish Consumptive Relief Association, the national organization maintaing the Sanatorium at Duarte and Ex-Patients’ Home in the city. The Sanatorium and the Ex-Patiens’ Home are actively supported by the local Jewish labor organizations, including the “Arbeiter Ring” with seven branches.
The Jewish company playing permanently at the Capitol Theatre and the literary society of the Los Angeles Yiddish Club headed by the wellknown Jewish stage and screen actor Teneu Holtz complete the list of the cultural institutions of the community.
In the local political and civic life the Jews have lost much of their whilom weight. There arc however: Judge Harry A. Hollzer, Superior Court, who is also the secretary of the State Judicial Council, and Judge Elias Rosencranz, Municipal Court, both of whom are very active in the Jewish community life. J. M. Fricdiander, is the State Corporation Commissioner. Dr. David William Edelman, the son of the first rabbi of Los Angeles, is noted for the high positions he has been for many years occupying in the local Democratic party councils. His management of city campaigns resulted in the election of several Democratic mayors in a city predominantly Republican. Myer Lissner is a Republican, known in the past as Senator Hiram Johnson’s aide; he was also a member of the U. S. Shipping Board. Attorney Harry Lyons is one of the Los Angeles men now serving in the California State Assembly.
In the realm of medicine the names of the following Los Angeles Jews are well known nationally; Dr. Aaron Rosanoff, author of the “Manual of Psychiatry” state commissioner for lunacy and lecturer of the University of California, Southern Branch, and University of Southern California; Dr. Edmund Lazard, author of many works, Dr. Henry Herbert, Dr. Leon Meyers, Dr. Adolph Tyroler and Dr. Maurice Kahn, both noted surgeons; Dr. Leon Shulman, Dr. Herman Sugarman and Dr. Geo. Piness. There is the Maimonides Medical Club with a membership of 100 Jewish physicians of the city.
The first efficient banking facilities in Los Angeles were provided by the Hellman family, which to this day controls the Merchants National Trust and Savings Bank. Ben R. Meyer and Milton Getz are the president and vice-president respectively of the Union. Bank and Trust Company. In the field of real estate and investments Joe Toplitzky. the Newmark and the Hamburger families. I. Eisner, Isaacs Brothers and Louis M. Cole are known for their wide operations. The departmerit store field now has the May family’s establishment and Jacoby Brothers. Haas, Baruch and Co. and M. A. Newmark Co. are at the helm of the wholesale grocery business of the Southwest, Newmark Brothers are noted for their large coffee interests. The wholesale fruit and vegetable growing and shipping business of Southern California has Peter Kahn, J. Friedheim. J. Klein and Kingsbaker Brothers at its head. Simon Levy Co. is a large produce and grocery concern.
The part played hy the Jews in the upbuilding of the motion picture industry of America is universally recognized. The names of Louis B. Mayer, Carl Laemmle, Joseph Schenck, Jesse I Lasky, Jack Warner and other motion picture magnates of Hollywood are internationally known. We also find Jews among celebrated actors, directers and writers of moviedom.
The Jewish community of Los Angeles traces its foundation to the earliest days of the American rule in California. Jews were known to settle in the then little and sleepy pueblo as early as in 1849. The census of 1850 lists several Jews, according to the latest findings of M. H. Newmark. Religious services were first conducted in 1852. while two years later one Carvalho, a Sephardic Jew, a member of General Fremont’s expedition, settled in Los Angeles and proposed the organization of a Hebrew benevolent society. Must of the earliest Jews of Los Angeles were of German origin and came here in the wake of the Gold Rush of ’49. having drifted from San Francisco and the Sierras southward in quest of quieter vistas and more stable pursuits. The Newmark, Hellman and Hamburger families, to this day active in the local affairs. Jewish and general, were some of the earliest settlers. The rolls of the first Vigilance Committees of Los Angeles contain the names of Xewmarks and other Jews.
The Jewish contingent grew and prospered keeping pace with the city. In the year of 1904, 3,000 Jews were counted in Los Angeles. This was the beginning of the large Jewish immigration. At the present time, the total population of 1,300,000. contains about 75.000 Jews. This is the nearest guess as to the ever-fluctuating figure of the local Jewry. New York. Chicago, Canadian cities, Detroit and Ohio cities are said to contribute largely to the recent Jewish migration to Los Angeles now still in process. Many come here to seek health in the balmy climes; others come to retire; still many more come to establish here their stores, shops and offices. There is a considerable colony of Sepharrlic Jews, mostly hailing from Turkey, and a group of “Subbotniki,” or “Sabbath”-people, the Russian peasants who embraced orthodox Judaism and fled to America from the wrath and persecutions of the Czar. Los Angeles is the only American city where these “Sabbath”-men and women, still dressed in their Russian national costumes, can be found.
Steuer to Get No Further Answer, Marshall Says
September 14, 1927
Louis Marshall, in a press interview following the demand of Max D. Steuer for a public accounting of the funds collected and distributed by the Joint Distribution Committee, said that so far as he is concerned, the matter is a “closed book.”
“The statement made Saturday by Felix M. Warburg, member of the firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Co.; Herbert H. Lehman, of Lehman Brothers, and Paul Baerwald of Lazard Freres,” said Mr. Marshall, “goes into the matter fully and makes it unnecessary to add anything. I am not going to indulge in any controversy with Mr. Steuer.”
Julius Rosenwald of Chicago, who is a member of the committee, donated more than $3,000,000, Mr. Marshall added, and Mr. Warburg has contributed more than $1,000,000.
“In fact, every member of the committee has given largely,” said Mr. Marshall. “These are men who fully understand the value of money and can be trusted entirely in making it do the most work.
“I do not see how Polish bankers could have profited largely through handling the exchange because the money merely passed through their hands at the established rates, over which the committee had no control. In a very large measure we distributed our own supplies, but in some instances where the terrible conditions brought about by constant warfare made it exceedingly dangerous, if not impossible to transport supplies without having the drivers of wagons murdered on the way, we were forced to buy local stores.
“In some instances we were forced to pay high prices for necessities, but they had to be purchased to save human life and relieve great suffering. We can hardly be blamed for the conditions which made this necessary.
“Mr. Steuer started by saying that American representatives of the fund stole part of the money. After my statement he took back that part and said that the loss was in exchange, but that he had no personal knowledge of it. His information, he said, was obtained last month at Zurich. I believe it came from certain disgruntled gentlemen from Poland regarding things that happened eight years before and was given and received without regard to what the conditions in Poland were at that time. It is utterly useless further to discuss the question,” Mr. Marshall declared.
Digest of Public Opinion on Jewish Matters
May 1, 1927
[The purpose of the Digest is informative. Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does not indicate approval.-Editor.]
A statement by Dr. Weizmann which is viewed as signalizing the beginning of a new era in the history of the Zionist work in Palestine was made by the president of the World Zionist Organization in an interview, following his recent visit in America, which appears in the “Ha’Olam,” Hebrew organ of London. In this statement Dr. Weizmann reviews the present situation in regard to Zionism and the work in Palestine and emphasizes that American Jewry can and will furnish all the necessary capital for the reconstruction of Palestine if only it will be convinced that the Palestine Yishub is becoming self-sustaining. Dr. Weizmann’s statement in the “Ha’Olam” declared:
“Despite all difficulties which have stood, and still stand, in our way recently, despite the failure of some of the Zionist enterprises, despite the depressing reports which come to America from suffering Palestine through letters and through visitors to that country–our movement is by no means weakened and there is no loss of courage nor disappointment to be observed among the Jews of America. On the contrary: The Zionist thermometer has gone up several degrees and we can say with absolute certainty that there are today no opponents of Zionism in America–if we discount the limited circle of socialist doctrinaires, and those who follow them blindly.
“There are non-Zionists that is, people who do not stand with the Zionist Organization, but no anti-Zionists. And there is positively no reason to speak about a falling away of faith in the success of our work. But there are doubts as to whether we are going in the right direction in regard to the outlook of the Yishub. America, alone can rebuild our national home, and there is no limit to the treasures which American Jewry may and can give for the purpose–if we can prove to them that their dollars are not being dumped into a riddled sack, but into something concrete which is being handled with logic and wisdom and which has a promise for the future. The question of Palestine reconstruction is not a question of money.
“Where and how to get the money which is necessary for the Palestine reconstruction,” Dr. Weizmann further stated, “that is a question which depends on the proper outlook of the Yishub. The American Jew, as well as any other Jew, is interested in practical results. He wants to know whether our Yishub (especially the colonization Yishub) can be self sustaining. The American Jews are not bargaining with us. What they desire is, that we should tell them in a clear way whether if such and such a sum of money will be given for settling a colonist on the land, he will be able to earn his own living and eventually pay up his debt. The essential point is, that we can get as much money as we need, if we will be able to stand up proudly before the Jewish public and say: What you are giving us results each year in such and such a number of new towns in Palestine, people have settled there and are living their lives, earning their livelihood through their own work and the day is near when they will begin to return to the nation that which they borrowed from it in the way of land and colonization.”
Commenting on this statement of Dr. Weizmann the “Jewish Daily News”, (April 28th), observes:
“We see in this statement of Dr. Weizmann the beginning of a new and important epoch in the history of the Zionist work in Palestine. Whatever may have been the reason which prompted the President of the Zionist Organization to utter such words is not important. What is important is, that Dr. Weizmann, through his statement, has put himself on turn ground, has pointed to a new way in the Palestine work and has laid down a foundation on which Zionist activities in Palestine can now firmly rest.
“Dr. Weizmann has analyzed the subject very deeply and if this will be the spirit permeating the new work which it is expected will be undertaken with the Jewish Agency there is every reason to expect success.”
Dr. I. M. Rubinow, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Jewish Welfare Society, has been appointed to the position of Executive Director of the Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities.
The funeral of Charles Altschul, former partner in the banking firm of Lazard Freres, who died on Tuesday, took place Thursday. The pallbearers included Leo Amstein, Paul Baerwald, C. R. Berrian, Alfred A. Cook, P. J. Goodhart, Andre Lazard, Irving Lehman, James N. McDonald, Dr. B. F. Oppenhcimer and Prof. James T. Shotwell.
Louis Marshall Contributes $50,000 to United Jewish Campaign
March 24, 1926
A donation of $50,000 by Louis Marshall to the United Jewish Campaign was announced by William Fox, chairman of the New York drive. Mr. Fox also announced a gift of $30,000 from Paul Baerwald.
Mr. Marshall, who is honorary chairman of the drive, accompanied his gift with a letter in which he gave a description of the misery now suffered by the Jews in European countries and urged the Jews of the city to give unstinted support in service and money to the effort that is being made in this city to raise New York’s quota of the fund. If the Jews of Europe perish, Mr. Marshall declared, the blame will rest on American Jewry.
Mr. Baerwald, who is senior member of Lazard Freres, is treasurer of the New York drive.
Three gifts of $25,000 each were made by Jacob J. Newman, Henry A. Dix, and Gregori Benenson, to the United. Jewish Campaign, Mr. Fox also announced.
Mr. Newman, a New York banker, was formerly of New Orleans.
Mr. Dix, two years ago, turned over his business to his employees. At that time he also made a gift of a large piece of property in Mount Kisco to the Young Women’s Hebrew Association as a summer home for the organization. Mr. Benenson is a real estate operator.
Headquarters for the Brooklyn Division of the United Jewish Campaign have been opened in the Albee Theatre Building, Fulton St. and DeKalb Ave., Brooklyn, N. Y.
Hugh Grant Straus, son of Nathan Straus, has been named treasurer of the drive and Nathan D. Shapiro, secretary. The organization committee assisting Judge Moscowitz, the chairman, is composed of: Simon Abels, Samuel Barnett, Joseph Barondess, Bernard Bloch, Louis Brenner, Herman Brickman, James J. Brooke, Judah L. Buchman, Hon. Emanuel Celler, Jacob H. Cohen, A. Davidson, Benjamin B. Englander, Hon. Alexander H. Geismar, Louis Germain, Moses Ginsberg, Pincus Geisman, William Godnick, Charles Goell, Jack Gumpert, Milton Hertz, Isaac Ipp, Louis J. Jaffee, Nathan S. Jonas. Ralph Jonas, Samuel Kahan, Abraham Kaplan, Dr. Carl Kaplan Max N. Koven, Israel Lack, Hon. Edward Lazansky, Isaac Levin, Aaron William Levy, Jacob Levy, Hon. Harry E. Lewis, Harry M. Marks, Isaac Marks, Hon. Mitchell May, Louis J. Moss, Benjamin H. Namm, Herman Neaderland, Hon. A. I. Nova, Charles Paston, Leon S. Pelz, Hugo H. Piesen, Louis Rayvid, Benjamin C. Ribman, Elias Reiss, Levi Rokeach, Gustave S. Roth, Walter N. Rothschild, Samuel Rottenberg, Morris Salzman, Meier Steinbrink, Sidney F. Strongin, Morris Walzer, Morris Weinberg and Hyman Zeitz.
The Middle Atlantic States Federation of Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association, at a meeting in Washington, D. C, elected David Weiner, president of the local Young Men’s Hebrew Association, as president of the Federation, and Miss Minnie Hutt, president of the Washington Young Women’s Hebrew Association, as secretary.
Other officers elected included Morris Kantor, Newport News, first vice-president; Dairy Goodman, Norfolk, second vice-president; R. Louis Bainder, Baltimore, third vice-president, and Beba Cohen, Richmand, treasurer.
The Bible is still the best seller, according to the annual report of the American Bible society, an interdenominational organization, issued by the northwestern agency in Chicago. The total issues for the last year in 150 languages and dialects was 9,069,120 volumes, a gain over the year previous of 2,416,821, the largest circulation in any of the 110 years of the existence of the Bible society. China took 4,075,853 volumes, an increase for the year of 1,222,315 volumes. The Chicago branch circulated 625,894 volumes in 66 languages.
Dr. Arnold Margolin will give a reading from his new book, “The Jews of Eastern Europe,” at the Bernard G. Richards bookshop, 414 Madison Avenue, New York, on Thursday evening, March 25.
Mr. Jacob Fishman, Managing Editor of the “Jewish Morning Journal,” will preside.
Twelve Jewish immigrants were detained at the port of Halifax by the Canadian Government inspectors because they were discovered to be in possession of false permits. All of them are expected to be deported back to Europe.
The Jewish Immigrant Aid Society of Canada which is the only institution authorized to secure a certain number of permits for Jewish immigrants from Europe each year is requesting all Jewish emigration societies in Europe to warn Jewish emigrants against dealing with unauthorized persons since they are all in danger of being detained on arrival at the Canadian ports and of being deported back to Europe.
The New England Zionist region, through its President, Hon. Elihu D. Stone, Assistant United States Attorney, and Executive Secretary, Mendel N. Fisher, sent the following message of condolence to President Coolidge: “We mourn with you the loss you have sustained. Col. Coolidge represented the finest spirit and personified the old New England characteristics of tolerance, faith and simplicity. May God console you in this hour of your bereavement. God giveth and God taketh.”
Dr. Joseph Rosen, Returning from Tour, Describes Conditions in Crimea and Ukraine
February 28, 1926
Moscow (Feb. 26)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
The condition of the Jewish population in the Soviet Republics today was described by Dr. Joseph Rosen, head of the Agrojoint, the agency of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Soviet Russia, in an interview with the correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here.
Dr. Rosen, who returned today from his monthly tour of Crimea and the Ukraine, stated that the economic condition of the Jewish masses in the large cities in that region, when compared with the conditions of last year, have been somewhat improved. This improvement, however, cannot be considered stable.
In the small towns only certain groups of artisans have found the opportunity of tolerable existence. The rest lack employment. The class of small traders is still struggling for existence, being unable to withstand the competition of the cooperatives, the taxes and other hardships. The stores are gradually disappearing.
The desire to settle on the land is greater than ever before among the Jewish population. In some of the small towns in the districts of Odessa and Podol, one-third of the Jewish population has registered for settlement on the land.
Thirty-two thousand desiatin land in Crimea and 50,000 in Ukrainia has been allotted for the settling of Jews, Dr. Rosen stated.
Dr. Rosen, who visited the majority of the new Jewish settlements in this region, stated that he found the new settlers in the best of spirits.
The Jewish Consumptive Relief Association planned its program for the ensuing year, at their convention held in Los Angeles last week. The convention was attended by ninety delegates from fifteen auxiliaries, branch committees and cooperative organizations.
It is planned to unite the forces of the entire Pacific Coast organization in a drive to wipe out the $95,000 deficit, and to this end Los Angeles is expected to contribute $65,000.
Elections were held to fill the places of nine members of the Board of Directors whose terms expected at this time. In addition to Messrs. Abraham Horwitz, Gregory R. Evans, Samuel Tiernan, J. A. Rosenkranz, and Dr. Henry M. Silverberg who were reelected, the following new Directors were elected: Mssrs. Louis Hoffman, Harry Scherr, Harry K. Cohen and Louis Lindenbaum. Dr. Nahum Kavinsky is president of the Association.
The Los Angeles section of the National Council of Jewish women will lay the cornerstone of its future council house February 28.
Former presidents of the Council will serve as hostesses, including Mrs. Florine Wolfstein, Mrs. Edmond Lazard, Mrs. Henry Klein, Mrs. Jules Kauffman and Mrs. Henry Strauss.
Three Anglo-jewish Firms Save Franc
January 1, 1924
London (Mar. 17)
That the credit of France was saved with the assistance of three Anglo-Jewish firms is the revelation made in a senaational story in the Sunday issue of the Daily Express. The firms are Lazard Brothers and Company, the house of Rothschild and Samuel Montague and Company. When the franc was on the point of collapse these firms organized a financial drive, secured millions of credit for France, and bolstered up the franc to an unexpectedly high level. The French financiers, on the other hand, mistrusting the diplomatic and financial policy of the Government refused to come to its assistance-on the contrary, they continued to sell francs, making the crisis more acute. The comment of the Express was in the nature of a rebuke, warning the English financiers that to extend credit to France only encouraged Poincare in his Ruhr policy.
The first synagogue in Miami Beach, Beth Jacob, was built in 1929 on Washington Avenue between 3rd and 4th streets because at the time Jews were not allowed to live north of 5th. The building, which operated as a synagogue until 1986, has since been turned into the Jewish Museum of Florida. It’s worth a visit just to see the beautiful sanctuary where Jewish gangster Meyer Lansky used to pray,
Simple Orthodox Funeral Service for Meyer Lansky
January 18, 1983
MIAMI BEACH (Jan. 17)
Meyer Lansky, an acknowledged financial wizard and one-time reputed czar of organized crime in the U.S. and many points overseas, was buried here yesterday in a simple Orthodox service attended by family and friends. He died of lung cancer at Mt. Sinai Hospital Saturday His age was given as 81.
Rabbi Semaryahu Swirsky, who conducted the 15-minute service in Hebrew and English at Har Nebo Cemetery, eulogized Lansky as a man whose “heart beat for everybody.” Although he was said to have amassed a fortune of between $100-$400 million, Lansky lived his last years in relative modesty in a condominium on Collins Ave., a boulevard of long-faded elegance on this island resort which has become a refuge for elderly Jews.
According to federal authorities and other law enforcement agencies, Lansky master-minded the finances of the vast, legendary underworld network known collectively as the Mafia, He was associated, during his long life with such convicted racketeers as Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, both boyhood chums, “Dutch” Schultz, Al Capone and Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, the “hit man” of the notorious “Murder Inc.”
But although linked to illicit gambling and other forms of vice, Lansky was never convicted of a serious crime. He went to jail only once — a two-month sentence in 1953 on a gambling conviction in Saratoga, N.Y.
He became an international cause celebre when his retirement in Israel in 1970 touched off a 26-month legal battle. Lansky claimed that as a Jew, under the Law of Return, he was entitled to citizenship and a permanent haven in the Jewish State. The Israeli Supreme Court thought otherwise, ruling that he was not entitled to citizenship because he was a “danger to public safety.” The Israelis apparently did not want the onus of harboring an alleged international criminal.
He was arrested on his return to the United States on charges of tax evasion but a judge ruled, on the basis of medical evidence, that he was too ill to stand trial.
Lansky was born Maier Suchawljansky in Grodno, Russia and was brought to the United States by his parents in 1911. Reportedly, they could not remember his birth date. An immigration official on Ellis Island listed his birth as July 4, 1902.
Lansky grew up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side which produced its share of solid citizens, geniuses and criminals. Although a high school drop-out, Lansky was recognized early on as a financial genius. Allegedly, he turned to crime instead of legitimate business. Law enforcement officials who spent decades in futile attempts to obtain convictions, expressed grudging admiration for the alleged racketeer. “He could have been president of General Motors,” one FBI agent was quoted as saying.
Jewish gangster Meyer Lansky was once a regular at Beth Jacob, the Miami Beach shul that is now the site of the Jewish Museum of Florida. (Uriel Heilman)
October 31, 1972
JERUSALEM (Oct. 30)
Meyer Lansky has been given two weeks to find another country willing to admit him. After that period he will be ordered out of Israel, the Ministry of Interior said Sunday. Lansky was denied immigrant status by the Minister of Interior Yosef Burg and the decision was upheld by the High Court of Justice. Since then Lansky has been seeking somewhere to go. His lawyer appealed to the Ministry for two weeks grace on the grounds that he was negotiating with several governments for asylum for Lansky.
ADL Files Complaint with Ftc Against Publisher of Book on Lansky
August 27, 1971
NEW YORK (Aug. 26)
The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith said today it had filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against G.P. Putnam’s Sons over its advertisement for Hank Messick’s book “Lansky,” about Meyer Lansky. The ad, which appeared in the New York Times, was headed “Jews Control Crime in the United States.” The ADL charged that the ad was false, misleading and “in flagrant violation” of the FTC’s rule against unfair trade practices. Arnold Forster, the ADL’s general counsel, stressed that the headline’s implication was not borne out in the book. He added that “this blatant appeal to anti-Semitism, an affront to the entire Jewish community, is violative of the spirit of the law.” He said Messick himself had disavowed the ad in a newspaper interview. The ADL also reported today that Putnam’s subsidiary Berkley Publishing has agreed to drop the allegedly offensive “headline” from the cover of the paperback edition of “Lansky,” and to substitute “The Mob Runs America, and Lansky Runs the Mob.” A Berkley spokesman confirmed the cover change and said it had been effected even before the original ADL protest. He attributed the “Jews Control Crime” line to “an overzealous copywriter” who had based it on “a legitimate headline in an Israeli paper” (Haaretz, which used it to title a review of “Lansky”). The spokesman said he regretted the “error.”
Argentine Zionist Federation Holds Four-day Session
May 29, 1952
BUENOS AIRES (May. 28)
A praesidium of three was elected to head the Zionist Federation of Argentina at the conclusion here of a four-day convention of the organization. The praesidium, chosen to give representation to the two sections of the General Zionist Party which were recently reunited, consists of Dr. Israel Yagubsky, Jacobo Bronfman and Max Starkman.
A group of 46 Argentinian chalutzim sailed for Israel this week-end. They were seen off at the boat by Zalman Shazar, former Minister of Education in Israel, who is currently visiting this country.
Canadian Government Promises to Consider Israel’s Reparations Claim Against Germany
April 18, 1951
OTTAWA (Apr. 17)
The Canadian Government has promised to give serious consideration to Israel’s claim for $1,500,000,000 in reparations from Germany. The promise was given by Lester Pearson, Dominion Minister for External Affairs, who received a delegation representing the Canadian Jewish Congress and the United Zionist Council of Canada. He also pledged consideration of the plight of Iraqi Jews.
The delegation, headed by Samuel Bronfman, head of the Congress, said that there is “overwhelming justice in Israel’s claim.” In addition it contended that the Allied Powers should not return sovereignty to any German Government until a substantial reparations payment is made to the Jewish people.
On the matter of Iraq, the delegates expressed uneasiness over the disquieting reports coming from the Arab country. They also spoke of steps which the government can take in the formation of the Canadian-Israel Trading Corporation.
Canadian Jewish Congress Asks Quebec to Delay Law Prohibiting Name Changing
March 26, 1951
Montreal (Mar. 25)
Samuel Bronfman, president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, has telegraphed Quebec Premier Duplessis asking that the government hold up a vote by the legislature on a bill making it illegal to change one’s surname without an act of the legislature.
Mr. Bronfman’s wire asked a delay until the Canadian Jewish Congress has had an opportunity for giving its reasons for opposing the measure, which it feels may bring economic and even physical difficulties for thousands of Quebec Jews and non-Jews.
$1,000,000 Foundation for Educational Charitable Purposes Named for Samuel Bronfman
March 6, 1951
NEW YORK (Mar. 5)
A $1,000,000 charitable and educational formation named the Samuel Bronfman Foundation, in honor of the Canadian Jewish leader, has been established by the Seagram Distilling Company, which Mr. Bronfman heads. Most of the present income from the fund will go to Columbia University which is to receive $40,000 annually for the study of democratic business enterprise.
Reorganization of World Zionist Movement Urged at Canadian Zionist Convention
January 24, 1950
MONTREAL (Jan. 23)
Calling for a change in the set-up and organization of the World Zionist Organization along non-political lines, Samuel J. Zacks, retiring president of the Zionist Organization of Canada, last night warned delegates to the 30th national convention of imminent peril unless Zionist party lines in countries outside of Israel are wiped out.
In his address before 1,000 delegates, Mr. Zacks said: “The Zionist Organization of Canada resents active interference by the Jewish Agency in the sutonomy of elected bodies. We believe the time has come for a reorganization of the World Zionist Organization and the basis of its constitution, that all parties outside of Israel be abolished, that there be but one federation which shall include all Zinnists who wish to work together for Israel, and that the people of Israel take cognizance of this.”
Justice I.C. Rand of the Supreme Court of Canada told the delegates that “over centuries Jews have shown greater survival powers than any people on earth.” He spoke of his visit to Palestine as a member of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine and said that no man more impressed him “with substance and strength of a great personality than Dr. Chaim Weizmann.”
In a review of the past 50 years of Canadian Zionism, Samuel Bronfman, president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said that the solidarity of Canadian Jewry is an example to Jewish communities throughout the world. Mr. Bronfman reminded delegates that realization of Israel statehood does not complete the task of world Jewry. “Israel must prove to the world that she is worthy of the confidence placed in her by the United Nations,” he said, “and we must help Israel with everything in our power.”
Aubrey S. Eban, permanent delegate of Israel to the United Nations, said that “no power can separate Jerusalem from Israel, they are two living organisms which have grown together. It is a firm and indissoluble union.” He added that Jerusalem cannot be religiously sereme unless it is politically peaceful.
Dr. Emanuel Neumann, former president of the Zionist Organization of America, stated that the Zionist movement was undergoing a serious crisis. Declaring that “it is a fantastic paradox that the moment of Zionism’s greatest triumph should mark the beginning of its decline as a movement,” Dr. Neumann said: “If the Government of Israel disragards the danger signals and fails to invest the World Zionist Organization with the necessary powers and authority, it will hasten the process of decline and disintegration of the movement to the serious detriment of Israel.”
Eden Indicates Britain Willing to Share Palestine Mandate but Few Nations Want It
May 11, 1945
San Francisco (May. 10)
British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden today indicated at a press conference that Britain would be ready to share the Palestine mandate. However, he said, “so far there are not many nations willing to take over the mandate.”
He said that Britain is discharging its obligations to the Jews in Palestine to the best of its ability. Asked whether under the trusteeship system Britain would discard its present obligation under the League of Nations mandate, Eden replied that he was not ready to answer this question since the trusteeship problem is still under discussion between the British and American delegations here.
A demand that Palestine be placed under a five-party trusteeship, consisting of the United States, Britain, Russia, France and the Jews, was advanced in a memorandum submitted by the Hebrew Committee of National Liberation to Prime Minister Peter Frager of New Zealand who heads the committee on trusteeships. The memorandum endorses the American delegation’s viewpoint on trusteeships and opposes the British proposal that the mandatory power should not have to report to the General Assembly of the proposed international organization on the administration of territories placed under trusteeship.
Under a five-party trusteeship, the memorandum says, “Palestine will be ready in less than two years to be granted its full independence as a free state recognizing the equal rights of all its citizens without discrimination on groands of religion or national or ethnical extraction; with the Jews, Christians, Moslems and others living in full enjoyment of the rights and obligations of citizenship.”
WISE HOPES CONFERENCE WILL MAKE IMPOSSIBLE FUTURE SLAUGHTER OF JEWS
Dr. Stephen S. Wise was the principal speaker tonight at a public meeting at the Scottish Rite auditorium sponsored by the local division of the American Jewish Congress in cooperation with the American Zionist Emergency Council. The meeting was also addressed by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, Louis Lipsky and Irving Miller.
Dr. Wise expressed the hope that the San Francisco Conference will build a world “which will forever banish the principles and policies of fascism,” and will secure equal rights for Jews throughout the world, making impossible, in the future, the slaughtering of “one in every three of the world’s Jews” as was the case during the past years.
“The Jewish citizens of America,” Dr. Wise continued, “who love this land and who have served our country throughout the war with utmost devotion, confidently hope that the organization of world security will take account of two fundamental needs of the Jewish people.
“First, that the rights of every man in every land, of every race, of every faith, or unfaith, shall be scrupulously and fully safeguarded. Second, that the international security organization in taking over the mandate for Palestine shall safeguard the rights of the Jewish people as recognized by the Balfour Declaration and confirmed by the mandate to Great Britain, and that after such transfer, the mandatory power with the help and support of our own country shall take all needful steps in order to bring about, through free immigration, the establishment of a national Jewish home in Palestine and a free and democratic Jewish Commenwealth.
“We believe that the people of our country and England have so willed the establishment of the Jewish national home as a reparation owing to the Jew from the newly established world of security, justice and peace to which the Jew has made contribution through unique prophetio ideals and unweary striving of the Jewish people.
The delegation of the Canadian Jewish Congress was received today by Canadian Primeminister William MacKenzie King who discussed with them varicus aspects of the security conference affecting Jewish problems. The delegation consisted of Samuel Bronfman, Archibald Bennett, Samuel Zack and Saul Hayes.
Separatist, Anti-separatist Fight on School Question
February 20, 1929
Montreal (Feb. 19)
While the memorandum submitted by the Protestant Board of School Commissioners, in reference to the Montreal Jewish school question, is still pending before the provincial Legislative Assembly in Quebec, the “separatists” and the “anti-separatists” of Montreal Jewry are again making an effort to gain support of the Jewish public. The memorandum being submitted to the Legislative Assembly was the result of a meeting between the Protestants and a committee of five prominent Jewish citizens who are against establishing separate Jewish schools.
The Separate Schools Committee has issued an invitation to the heads of synagogues, sick benefit associations and leaders in culture organizations to be present at a meeting to be held this Sunday to discuss the school problem. At the same time the Jewish organizations in Montreal are also in receipt of a letter signed by the “anti-separatists,” by the committee of five, A. Z. Cohen, Allan Bronfman, A. H. Jassby, David Kirsch and S. M. Ogulnik, asking that they elect representatives to be present at a meeting to be called at an early date.
The Vaad Haraborim, the Council of Orthodox Rabbis in Montreal, has gone on record as declaring itself in favor of separate schools and is urging Montreal Jewry to ask that a separate Jewish school panel be established.