Praise for the modesty and sacrifice of Robert Szold who retired as head of the Zionist National Administration, is contained in an editorial in “Opinion”.
The editorial says:
“Character does count-though not always at national conventions. One felt that anew in the closing hour of the recent Zionist Convention. Two years earlier, as a result of the peace pact which has been more honored in the breach than in the observance, Robert Szold, one of the most capable of the Brandies adjutants, was by the processes of accommodation and adjustment finally chosen as Chairman of the Administrative Committee of the Zionist Organization of America. Though his record of Zionist service, including residence for a time in Palestine as an official of the World Zionist Organization, was unexceptionable, he was received with a minimum of graciousness and has, throughout his two years of service, faced a maximum of thinly disguised hostility.
For two years he has more than any other in the Zionist Administration borne its heavy burdens. Always looked upon as an outsider by those to whom the game is more momentous than the goal, Mr. Szold did the day-by-day work of administration with diligence and dignity, with capacity and integrity, qualities less winsome and less showy than bonhomie. Respect has always been his but he could not quite win the allegiance of those who bring to large affairs what might be called the “baseball mind.”
“For some time Mr. Szold has clearly stated that he could not continue to bear the responsibilities of his office. The Convention days marked his retirement in favor of the newly-elected president of the Z.O.A. but happily for it the Philadelphia Convention was not permitted to adjourn without rising to a sense of Szold’s service to the cause, service which rests upon the solid basis of character. This quiet, thoughtful man, whose lack of bumptiousness was imagined by the unthinking to be the equivalent of ineffectiveness, impressed himself upon the convention as did no other man. His Annual Report, which was his farewell, was such a stirring call to arms as conventions do not often hear.”
The “Jewish Press” of Omaha, Nebr., also publishes an editorial of comment on the Zionist convention, in the course of which it says:
“The thirty-fifth annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America, held last week in Philadelphia, was marked by another change in leadership. The conclave, dominated by Lipsky’s followers and their pro-Weizmann policy, virtually repudiated the Brandeis-Mack forces which assumed the reigns two years ago. No bitter controversies, however, marred the serenity of the convention, because the so-called Brandeis-Mack group put forth no opposition.
“But we fear that in the Zionist Organization of America altogether too much stress has been laid upon “leadership.” What good is the most sagacious general if he has no army to lead? The true strength of the Zionist movement lies in the masses. They must form the foundation upon which we must build upward.
“The Zionist Organization lives for the upbuilding of Palestine. But the Jewish pioneers, in the Holy Land, facing unsurmountable difficulties and enduring unbelievable hardships, have not succumbed to the spirit of defeatism which is ours in the Diaspora. Theirs is the example we must follow-revitalization and re-creation, not a deadening, unenervating program of defeatism. Morris Rothenberg as president of the Zionist Organization of America does not have to contend with enemies within the ranks. He is an able leader with admirable qualities and splendid potentialities. Under him the Zionist Organization in this country must throw off its lethargy-must assume power and initiative in tremendously increasing the membership of the Zionists, in introducing Hebrew cultural activities, and in strengthening Palestinian achievements.”