A letter placing the stamp of official endorsement of Masonry on the rebuilding of the Jewish Homeland in Palestine, was addressed by William A. Rowan, Grand Master of the New York State Masons, to Louis A. Sable, Chairman of a special committee organized by Jewish Masons to obtain encouragement for the Zionist movement from Free Masonry.
“My opinion having been asked as to the proper attitude of Masons toward the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine”, the Grand Master writes, “I have no hesitation in stating that I warmly approve of the movement which was initiated by the Balfour Declaration and endorsed by the Joint Resolution of the Congress of the United States and approved by the President.
“As establishing a place of refuge for the oppressed Jews of Central and Eastern Europe in a land enriched by the memories and traditions of the past and regarded as holy ground by Jew and non-Jew alike, it should appeal to the humanitarian impulses of all mankind, particularly to the Masomic Fraternity which traces its legendary origin to the Holy Land.”
In March 1924, a special rception by Masons was tendered to Dr. Chaim Weizmann and since then the interest among Masons in the cause continued to grow until it culminated in the official approval by the Grand Master. Other Masons who have been active in this effort are: Moses Altman, Past District Deputy; Arthur Arkin, Grand Representative; Anthony W. Klein, Grand Representative; Harry N. Simon, Grand Representative and others.
Judge Arthur S. Tompkins, Past Grand Master of New York, has also indorsed Masonic cooperation in the Zionist movement. New York Masons as a group expect to contribute the sum of $100,000 to the Palestine Foundation Fund this year, according to Mr. Sable. He stated that the opening of the first departments of the Hebrew University on the Mount Scopus has had a marked influence in stimulating interest among Masons in cooperating in the rebuilding of the country.
$30,000 for a new synagogue was pledged by the members of Machzikeh Hadas Congregation, Scranton. Pa., at a banquet in observance of Chanukah. Harry Harris, president of the Congregation, was toastmaster.