Zionism and American Jews Zionism and American Jews ALFRED M. LILIENTHAL It had been a nasty, rainy night when an elderly, affluent Hartford couple made their way from their home to a meeting. As their car slowly turned left at the entrance to the Jewish Community Center, another automobile raced out of the fog and rammed into them. My cousin, whose countless civil and philanthropic deeds had endeared her to the community, was dead before she could reach the hospital; her husband seriously injured. Ever since the appearance of my Readers' Digest article, in which I crossed swords with Zionist Organization chieftain, Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, my relatives in Hartford had looked upon me as a plain and simple nut, if not a traitor. Former close family ties had deteriorated to a point of near-total ostracism. Nevertheless, blood is thicker than water, and I rushed to Connecticut for the last rites of a wonderful woman, and was among the 800 to pay Sunday morning tribute to her in a packed synagogue-the very one from which, in the presence of many family members, I had been excoriated by the rabbi during the High Holy Days services thirty years earlier for daring to speak out publicly against Zionism.