Rule of the Jewish Kehillah Grips New York

By Henry Ford

(Reprinted from the 26 February 1921 Issue of the house journal of the Ford Motor Co, the Dearborn Independent and slightly edited by Raymond Bray to eliminate the numerous uses of "which" for "that" in the original.)

Are the Jews organized? Do they consciously pursue a program that on one side is pro-Semitic and on the other anti-Gentile? How can a group so numerically inferior wield so large an influence upon the majority of the world?

These are questions that have been asked and that can be answered. The clan solidarity of the Jew, the ramifications of his organizations, the specific purpose that he has in view, are themes upon which there is any amount of "say so," but very little authoritative statement. It may therefore be useful and informing to study one or two of the more important Jewish organizations in the United States.

There are Jewish lodges, unions and societies whose names are well known to the public, and that seem to be the counterpart of similar groups among the non-Jewish population, but those are not the groups upon which to focus attention. Within and behind them is the central group, the inner government, whose ruling is law, and whose act is the official expression of Jewish purpose.

Two organizations, both of which are as notable for their concealment as for their power, are the New York Kehillah and the American Jewish Committee. By concealment is meant the fact that they exist in such important numbers and touch vitally so many points of American life, without their presence being suspected.

If a vote of New York could be taken today it is doubtful if one per cent of the non-Jewish population could say that it had ever heard of the New York Kehillah, yet the Kehillah is the most potent factor in the political life of New York today. It has managed to exist and mold and remold the life of New York, and very few people are the wiser. If the Kehillah is mentioned in the press, it is most vaguely, and the impression is, when there is any impression at all, that it is a Jewish social organization like all the rest.

The Kehillah of New York is of importance to Americans everywhere because of two facts: it not only offers a real and complete instance of a government within a government in the midst of America's largest city, but it also constitutes through its executive committee District XII of the American Jewish Committee through which pro-Jewish and anti-Gentile propaganda is operated and Jewish pressure brought to bear against certain American Ideas. That is to say, the Jewish government of New York constitutes the essential part of the Jewish government of the United States.

Both of these societies began at about the same time. The records of the Kehillah state that the immediate occasion of its organization was to make a protest against the statement by General Bingham, then police commissioner of the City of New York, that 50 per cent of the crime of the metropolis was committed by Jews. There had been a government investigation into the "White Slave Traffic," the result of which was a direct set of public opinion into channels uncomplimentary to the Jewish name, and a defensive movement was begun. There is no intention to rake up past scandals, unless it shall become necessary; it is enough to say here that, very soon afterward, General Bingham disappeared from public life, and a national magazine of power and influence that had embarked on a series of articles setting forth the government's findings in the White Slave investigation was forced to discontinue after the printing of the first article. This was in the year 1908. The American Jewish Committee, to whose influence the Kehillah really owes its existence, came into being in 1906.

The word "Kehillah" has the same meaning as "Kahal," which signifies "community" "assembly" or government. It represents the Jewish form of government in the dispersion. That is to say, since destiny has made the Jews wanderers of the earth, they have organized their own government so that it might function regardless of the governments that the so-called "Gentiles" have set up. In the Babylonian captivity, in Eastern Europe today, the Kahal is the power and protectorate to which the faithful Jew looks for government and justice. The Peace Conference established the Kahal in Poland and Rumania. The Kahal itself is establishing its courts in the city of New York. The Kahal issues laws, judges legal cases, issues divorces - the Jews who appeal thereto preferring Jewish justice to the justice of the courts of the land. It is, of course, an agreement among themselves to be so governed; just as citizenship in the United States assumes agreement to be governed by institutions provided for that purpose.

The New York Kehillah is the largest and most powerful union of Jews in the world. The center of Jewish world power has been transferred to that city. That is the meaning of the heavy migration of Jews all over the world toward New York. It is to them what Rome is to the devout Catholic and what Mecca is to the Mohammedan. And by the same token, immigrant Jews are more freely admitted to the United States than they are to Palestine.

The Kehillah is a perfect answer to the statement that the Jews are so divided among themselves as to render a concert action impossible. That is one of the statements made for Gentile consumption, that the Jews are hopelessly divided among themselves. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have had opportunity during recent weeks to see and hear for themselves that when an anti-Gentile purpose is in view, Jews of all classes make the same threats and the same boasts. They are either going to "get" somebody, or they have "got" somebody.

A recent Jewish writer attempted to raise a laugh about the very idea of the members of the Jewish needle-workers' unions of New York having anything in common with the needle-work bosses. He made his attempt in confidence that the public knew little or nothing about the Kehillah. But the public can find all groups and all interests in that body, for there they meet as Jews. The capitalist and the Bolshevik, the rabbi and the union leader, the strikers and the employers struck against, are all united under the flag of Judah. Touch the conservative capitalist who is a Jew, and the red anarchist who is also a Jew will spring to his defense. It may be that sometimes they love each other less, but altogether they hate the non-Jew more, and that is their common bond.

The Kehillah is an alliance, more offensive than defensive, against the "Gentiles." The majori