Just as the ancient Temple in Jerusalem was conceived “as a house of prayer for all nations, so the Hebrew University instead of being as some have imagined a chauvinistic national institution, will be rather an academy, embodying to the Jews of Palestine and to the world at large, the international idea.” This was the statement of Dr. Selig Brodetsky, one of the governors of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at the reception given in his honor at the Waldorf-Astoria Monday evening.
The reception was given under the joint auspices of the United Palestine Appeal and the Hebrew University Committee of which Dr. David J. Kaliski is chairman.
Judge Julian W. Mack declared that the Jewry of the world owed a debt to Professor Brodetsky, in that, in his lectures on dynamics and higher mathematics at the Jerusalem University, he had demonstrated that Hebrew could be used as a vehicle for the most technical instruction.
Dr. Weizmann, after paying a tribute to Professor Brodetsky and wishing him success in his efforts to create interest in the Hebrew University, urged that the policy of the University be moulded largely along research lines. “Rather than make it a poor copy of Harvard or other such institutions, let us make it a modest Jewish original institution,” he said.
Professor Brodetsky, in his response to the greetings, took direct issue with the recent statements of Dr. Pritchett of the Carnegie Peace Endowment, relative to the feasibility of the use of Hebrew for instruction in science.
“Dr. Pritchett is an astronomer,” said Professor Brodetsky, “but apparently he does not know the history of astronomy. He does not know that one of the first great scientific works on astronomy was written in the Eleventh century in Hebrew, by Abraham Bar Chaya Hanasi. Indeed, works on scientific topics have been written in Hebrew down through the ages. As a matter of fact, Hebrew, like Latin, was never a dead language from a scientific standpoint,” Dr. Brodetsky declared.
Others who spoke were Emanuel Neumann, who delivered a tribute to Professor Brodetsky in Hebrew, and Dr. Nathan Ratnoff, of the American Jewish Physicians Committee of the Hebrew University.