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Governor Lehman Urges Synagogue to ‘give Value to Social Ideals’

“Unless the synagogue can aid a suffering world in its daily problems, giving value to its social ideals, its mission is unfulfilled,” declared Governor Lehman tonight, addressing 700 persons attending a dinner at the Hotel Biltmore celebrating the ninetieth anniversary of the Central Synagogue.

“The loyal Jew, through the social ideals which the synagogue has been teaching, has remained consistently social-minded. He is not unaware of the fact that his religion has something to contribute to the world’s social progress. There may be a social and moral pattern stamped into the Jew, himself as some claim,” said Governor Lehman.

“If so, he certainly needs the synagogue as a medium for its expression. But whether it be at home, in the synagogue or in the world of affairs, the Jew has to hold fast to the holy things he inherits in order to counteract the disabilities which frequently spring from the conditions of modern and materialistic life.”

He declared that if the Jews would fulfill their mission “of enriching the world with exalted ideals, with an inspiring example, with the culture which through all the long centuries of suffering has kept Judaism a living soul,” then the Jews must have faith in it and in themselves.

Others on the speakers’ list were Rabbi Jonah B. Wise, of the Central Synagogue, Solomon B. Freehof of Pittsburgh and Max L. Schallek, president of the congregation.

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