Dedication of the New York Young Men’s Hebrew Association, the largest building of its kind in the world, erected at a cost of $2,500,000, at Lexington Avenue and 92nd Street and which was the gift of the late Jacob H. Schiff, took place Sunday afternoon.
The ceremonies, which were held in the Theresa Kaufmann auditorium, which is one of the main features of the new building, donated to the association by Henry Kaufmann, Pittsburgh philanthropist, were featured by a message from Governor Franklin Roosevelt. The speakers at Sunday’s ceremonies were Hon. Joseph Proskauer, president of the association, to whom the keys of the edifice were presented by Sydney O. Crystal, chairman of the building committee; Felix M. Warburg and Justice Irving Lehman, and Sol M. Stroock, former presidents of the association; Simon Gottschall, first vice-president, Dudley M. Sicher and George Bronz, one of the junior members of the association. Dr. Samuel Schulman, of Temple Emanu-El delivered the opening prayer, and the closing prayer was by Rabbi Jacob Kohn, of Temple Anshei Chesed, both of whom are officers of the association.
ROOSEVELT SENDS MESSAGE
Governor Roosevelt, who had expected to attend the exercises, sent a message expressing the conviction that the common sense of modern youth will vindicate the judgment and wisdom of their elders in erecting buildings for their intellectual, moral, social and physical betterment.
In formally accepting the key of the new building President Proskauer paid tribute to the consistent generosity to the Y.M. H.A. during its whole career of the Jacob H. Schiff family, and expressed the association’s gratitude to them as well as to Henry Kaufmann and Mrs. Buttenweiser, who presented Laemmlin Buttenweiser Hall, the smaller auditorium of the new building, in memory of her husband, at a cost of $50,000. He also read a message from Mrs. Jacob H. Schiff in which she said:
“I wish the association success in the very good work being done for the uplift of the Jewish young men of this city under the roof of your splendid new building.”
Describing the moral and spiritual aspiration of the Jews, to which he said, they had remained true during many centuries and in face of countless obstacles, President Proskauer dedicated the building to the furtherance of these ideals. He acknowledged the obligations of the association to the Jewish Welfare Board and especially to its president, Justice Irving Lehman, and its executive director, Harry L. Glucksman, and on behalf of the association, thanked the Jewish community of New York for making the present building possible.
Mr. Warburg said, during the course
of his address:
“I sat here today with a great deal of emotion. When Mr. Schiff planned the building which stood on this corner, the building was at that time adequate more than adequate because the organization was small; its ambitions beautiful, its appetite frugal. Since then the Heinsheimer memorial was added in memory of the man who gave his fortune to develop the community spirit in striving to combine all philanthropic institutions into one. That building has now outlived its usefulness because it received very considerable utilization by the young men.
“Today we are very proud to be in this new building which has every ideal and comfort that the young men desire at this time. I sincerely hope and trust that it will receive the proper use and benefits for which it has been erected by those who have put their hearts and souls in this edifice for the benefit of our young men.”
Justice Irving Lehman said in his address:
OPPORTUNITY TO ENLARGE WORK
“I am very proud to be able, as president of the national organization, to express to you our gratification. This is a wonderful opportunity to spread its work amongst a larger group. From the smaller organization founded more than fifty-five years ago, came the inspiration which has lead every community of this country to found similar organizations. And now that this organization has obtained the opportunity to carry on its work adequately, and with proper means, will come the inspiration throughout the country to furnish local organizations everywhere with similar opportunities.”