About 150 leading members of the Jewish community were present at a dinner given Thursday at the Hotel Astor by the American Advisory Committee of the Hebrew University, to celebrate the dedication of the Wattenberg Hall of the Einstein Institute of Mathematics and Physics.
As toastmaster, James Marshall referred to his visit to Palestine in 1927, and how important he regarded the University in the development of Palestine. He said that there is strong local demand for facilities for higher education in Palestine itself; that a place of study must be provided for the hunted and outcast youth of Jewry denied entrance to universities in the countries of Eastern Europe; the introduction of modern agriculture, creates problems of water supply, chemistry, and physics which can best be solved on the spot in the laboratories of the University. “The Jews who have benefitted for centuries,” said Mr. Marshall, “from the universities of the Western World owe to the world the tribute of a place of higher learning.”
Felix M. Warburg, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, Louis Lipsky, Dr. Nathan Ratnoff, Samuel C. Lamport, Mrs. Archibald Silverman of Providence, Judge William M. Lewis and Dr. S. Margoshes were the speakers of the evening who, emphasizing the importance of the Hebrew University, expressed appreciation for Mr. Wattenberg’s $100,000 gift for the erection of the building to house the Einstein Institute of Mathematics and Physics.
Mr. Wattenberg, in responding, stated that since ancient times it was believed that he who obtains control of Mount Scopus, the site of the Hebrew University, dominates Palestine. Until now dominance was sought by implements of war. The Hebrew University from Mount Scopus will dominate by methods of peace, research and intellectual advancement.
Dr. Weizmann, President of the Hebrew University, said, “The importance of the University, is not only for the development of Palestine, but as a cultural and spiritual center of the Jews throughout the world. It is for this reason that with the restoration of Palestine as a Home Land for the Jews, after the Balfour Declaration, that the cornerstone of the University was laid. The Jews wished to make this gesture to the entire world to indicate that they were again to contribute as they had in earlier days to science and culture of the entire world.”
The dedication of the Wattenberg Hall took place on Mount Scopus, Jesusalem, on Oct. 31. Courses leading to a degree were inaugurated at that time. The work of the Mathematics Department was formally opened under the guidance of Dr. Michael Fekete, formerly Privat-Docent at the University of Budapest. Dr. Judah L. Magnes, Chancellor of the Hebrew University, announced that Dr. Franenkel of Kiel had been invited by the Board of Governors to become Head of the Mathematics Institute, and it is hoped that he will begin his duties beginning next year.
The officers of the American Advisory Committee, under whose auspices the dinner was given, are Felix M. Warburg, Chairman; Judge Julian W. Mack and Walter E. Meyer, Vice-Chairmen, Maurice Wertheim, Treasurer, and Elisha Friedman, Secretary. Among those present at the dinner were Arthur Lehman, Paul F. Warburg, Louis Wiley, Eugene Unter-##myer, Hon. Albert Goldman, Dr. Emanuel Libman, and Samuel C. Lamport.