Nearly 15,000 people, most of them jamming the floor of Madison Square Garden, celebrated Chanukah on Saturday night at the Maccabean festival. Professor Albert Einstein and Frau Einstein appeared and remained for about a half hour on the platform. A long spontaneous outburst of cheering greeted their appearance and the entire mass of people with a united movement swept toward the platform.
Professor Einstein was stirred by the extraordinary spectacle before him. The mass of standing people all with their faces upturned, crowding toward the platform was an unusually impressive sight. He was conducted to the microphone and he called out his greetings in German. “I only want to say that I greet you with all my heart. Let us remember on this festival commemorating the Maccabees that times change but we remain.” Mrs. Einstein modestly hung back but was led up to the microphone. “I greet you” she called and ran back to her seat laughing.
The festival was addressed by Robert Szold, president of the Zionist Organization of America who spoke very briefly of the present Zionist situation. Most of the evening was given over to dancing and to a program of entertainment in which leading Jewish artists participated. Cantor Joseph Rosenblatt sang two songs; Molly Picon told a few stories and sang some comic songs. The motion picture singer, Rudy Vallee sang Eli Eli. There was a violin solo by Jascha Fishberg and music by Alex Kudich’s string quartet. Leon Blank recited a poem.
The Jewish Choral Society sang a number of songs under the direction of A. W. Binder. Harry Hirshfield, Jewish comic strip cartoonist was master of ceremonies. J. J. Goldstein, chairman of the Festival Committee, presided. Nathan Straus was honorary chairman of the Festival Committee.
Local Zionist organizations, units of the B’nai Brith, benefit societies and Palestine organizations had boxes around the hall. The festival lasted far into the night.