Jewish Leaders Issue Messages on Occasion of the New Year
Menu JTA Search

Jewish Leaders Issue Messages on Occasion of the New Year

Download PDF for this date

Messages on the occasion of the New Year were issued by leaders of Jewish organizations to their membership.

Ludwig Vogelstein, chairman of the Executive Board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, in his New Year’s message stated:

“The approach of the religious New Year is a reminder to us to ascertain to what extent we have advanced during the past year in the spiritual and religious conception of the world, and what we, as Liberal and Progressive Jews, can do in the coming year for the enlightenment of mankind and especially of our own constituents.

“The great struggle for progress and light has been going on steadily in Judaism, and we of the Reform Wing can always find our inspiration from the Prophets. They preached against maintaining superannuated forms after they had lost their spiritual meaning; they spoke against a fast which was not combined with contrition of the soul, with good deeds toward the oppressed and help for the needy.

“The eternal truths revealed in our religious literature are everlasting. Our enlightened views of God’s power and greatness are never in conflict with, but find confirmation in scientific discoveries and new inventions which open vistas to us into the field of nature’s grandeur entirely unknown to our ancestors.

“In the coming year every man and woman belonging to one of our member congregations should show loyalty to our traditional religion adapted to its new surroundings by contributing a full share of service towards the strengthening and upbuilding of our organizations, local as well as national. We of the Liberal Wing are a small minority among the Jews of America but our influence reaches beyond our own ranks.

“I bespeak a more whole hearted response of the layman to the call of Liberal Judaism, more enthusiasm for our sacred cause and a greater appreciation for the ideals for which elightened Judaism has always stood.”

David A. Brown. National Chairman of the United Jewish Campaign, declared:

“Dear God, bless the Jews of American, give to them health, happiness and prosperity.-is the prayer that will be offered by countless thousands of men, women and children in all of those lands where for the past fourteen years the Jews of America have poured forth their love, sympathy and money.

“For years wherever our people have been gathered together for religious worship in those tragic lands, they plead for God’s mercy and God’s love to those Jews who have shown mercy and proven their love.

“On New Year’s Day our synagogues and temples will be filled to over-flowing and we too will offer up our prayers to God in thankfulness for his blessings; for the privilege of living in this land, for the opportunities which have been ours, and for giving us an understainding of our duties and responsibilities to those less fortunate.

“There will be many in this country whose loved ones are still in those lands of misery and suffering, who with blessing hearts, blinding tears and beating of breasts will cry out in their agony, ‘How long, O Lord, how long?’ Whose prayers will be holy prayers for a more peaceful day, a more happy day for flesh of their flesh, blood of their blood.

“It is with this picture in my mind that I greet you, my good firend, on the approach of the New Year-a picture burned deep into my consciousness of our suffering people offering up their holy prayers in a voice, the cry of which is still ringing in my ears.

“I greet you specially this year because of the spirit which has carried you on and has helped make possible the continuance of the great work which has enabled our peopel to live physically and spiritually during these many sad years.

“We have much to be thankful for: past years of plenty. future years of hope; but over and above all, we should thank God for the vision to use properly our material possessions, and for the spirit of service within us.

“I join my prayers with those of my brethren across the sea, and say, God bless you and yours, and may He bring to you in the coming years that which will give to you your full measure of happiness.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund