Dr. Cyrus Adler, President of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, in delivering his address at the thirty-ninth annual commencement exercises Sunday told the graduates that “the teaching and practice of religion in these days is not a light task. There are elements in the world, political and social, which have set their faces against all religion.”
Russia with its teeming millions, is endeavoring to destroy Judaism, Christianity and Islam, by forbidding religious teaching to the young or to anyone under the age of 18,” he said. “I do not believe that religion can be made to yield even to a twenty year plan. In their enthusiasm for a new form of State, an old country like Spain and a new country like Mexico are endeavoring to dispose of the Roman Catholic Church, an effort not likely to succeed. Germany, in its passion for a new Teutonic nationalism essentially pagan in outlook, is not ostensibly warring upon religion but actually endeavors to harness the Protestant. Church to its Government, to curb the Roman Catholic Church and annihilate Judaism by destroying the bodies and souls of those who profess it.
“It is not because the subject has not been sufficiently brought to your attention that I am speaking of it but rather because at no Jewish gathering in this day can one fail to dwell upon this particular catastrophe that is affecting the Jewish people.”
Sol M. Stroock, chairman of the board of directors of the seminary, also spoke at the exercises.
In addition to the fifteen degrees awarded by the rabbinical department, thirty diplomas were presented. Four were professional diplomas from the Teachers Institute, sixteen were academic diplomas and ten were diplomas from the Extension Department of the Seminary College of Jewish Studies.