A campaign to raise $500,000 in the United States during 1935 to be used in the acquisition and reclamation of land in Palestine as national Jewish possessions was inaugurated last night by the Jewish National Fund of America at a Palestine Land Redemption dinner in the ballroom of the Hotel Astor.
More than 1,200 guests representing hundreds of Jewish organizations in the city attended the affair. Each guest contributed a minimum of $25, the price per plate, to enable the Jewish National Fund to purchase one-half dunam (one-eighth of an acre) of Palestine land. Approximately $25,000 was raised in this manner at the dinner.
The affair brought to a climax the effort of a citizens’ committee formed by the JNF under the chairmanship of Maurice Levin, president of Hearn’s Department Store, to raise a special sum for Palestine land redemption work.
LARGE GIFTS ANNOUNCED
Many large gifts, including a previously announced contribution of $2,500 from Mr. Levin, $1,000 from Louis Altschul and $500 each from Abraham Krasne, Mr. and Mrs. A. Mazer, the Rutgers Club, Mrs. Fannie Mayer Korn, J. M. Kaplan and Henry Kaplan, Israel Sachs and Jacob Siegel, were announced. Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the American JNF, who acted as toastmaster, announced that Governor Herbert Lehman had contributed $250 for the acquisition of one acre of land. Other $250 contributions were received from Fred Greenman, Elias Preiss. Samuel Altonoss and Congregation Adath Israel of Brooklyn.
Postmaster General James A. Farley headed the list of prominent non-Jews who were guests of honor at the banquet. The audience included Zionists and non-Zionists, Jews and non-Jews.
Speakers were Mr. Levin, Dr. Goldstein, Mrs. Irma Lindheim, Dr. Stephen S. Wise and Louis Lipsky. A musical program was presented at the banquet by Helen Lubanska, Harry Farbman and Edith Shiller.