Roosevelt, Lehman, National Leaders Greet American Jews on Rosh Hashanah
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Roosevelt, Lehman, National Leaders Greet American Jews on Rosh Hashanah

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President Roosevelt, members of his Cabinet, and Governor Lehman joined leaders of Jewish national organizations today in sending messages of greetings and hope to the Jews of America on the occasion of the Jewish New York 5702 which will be ushered in on Sunday night with a two day prayer period in synagogues and temples.

Arrangements on an unprecedented scale have been made by the Chaplains Corps of the Army and Navy to enable the thousands of Jewish men in the nation’s largest peace-time defense force to worship on the High Holy Days. Field services arranged by the Jewish Welfare Board will be held for the first time since the World War in places where the Jewish soldiers are engaged in the great war games in the Northwest and the Southwest. Thousands of copies of a specially prepared prayer book have been provided by the Jewish Welfare Board for use in the field during maneuvers, and Chaplains in the maneuver areas have been provided with shofars.

Rosh Hashanah radio broadcasts will be given Sunday and Monday over numerous stations and the tragic situation of the Jews in many parts of the world will be discussed. Appeals will be made to the Jews of America to remember the sufferings of the millions of Jews in the Nazi-dominated part of Europe as well as the hopes which many Jews in war-torn Europe place on Palestine.


President Roosevelt in his Rosh Hashanah message to the Jews of America, issued through the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, said:

“At this tragic hour in modern civilization I extend to the Jewish people of America my sincere greetings for the New Year, in the confident hope that the temporary darkness which appears to encompass the world shall not extinguish the light of liberty and the blessings of peace and freedom. Accordingly, with a united devotion to the just cause of tolerance and peace, we must rededicate ourselves to the task which lies before us in order that all peoples may live as equals.”


Secretary of State, Cordell Huss, stated: “I fervently hope that the blessings of Providence may bring cheer during the coming twelve months to this esteemed and loyal group of our fellow citizens.”

Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson’s message read: “The War Department sends its greetings to the American citizens of Jewish faith who are serving the cause of national defense with the armed forces.” Rosh Hashanah greetings from the Commanding General of the Army will come to the Jewish men on Sunday, Sept. 28, when Gen. George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, will speak on a nation-wide broadcast over the Columbia Broadcasting system. He will be joined by Admiral Chester W. Nimits, who will bring New Year’s greetings to the Jewish men in the Nevy.


Governor Lehman, in his Rosh Hashanah message issued through the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, declared:

“I am pleased to have this opportunity of extending greetings for a Happy New Year to the Jews of New York. Certainly, we have cause to be deeply grateful for the blessings all citizens enjoy in our beloved country. Here there is freedom and liberty and peace. Here the humblest citizen may worship God in his own way. Here political equality is guaranteed to all citizens.

“At this time when our country is menaced by a ruthless and cruel aggressor there is compelling need for complete national unity. Americans must be courageous; they must be willing to face any sacrifice to preserve the freedoms that are theirs. Unity in a large sense rests upon spiritual convictions. Faith and patriotic devotion must necessarily be closely akin in a democracy.

“We need greater spiritual faith. We need a unity of spirit which will bind all peoples together in a common, unshakable determination to protect our liberties, our way of life and our free institutions at all costs and at all sacrifices. We must rededicate ourselves as a nation to a living brotherhood of man under the universal fatherhood of God. We must not only preach good will and tolerance and sacrifice, but we must practice these things in our daily lives. It is not only a duty but a great honor and a privilege for us as Americans and as Jews to meet and discharge our responsibilities to our country. In this spirit I send greetings to my fellow citizens on the occasion of the Jewish New Year.”


Dr. Stephen S. Wise, President of the American Jewish Congress, in a New Year’s message to the Jewish people, voiced the hope “that the worst is behind us, and that the years of darkness and of horror are soon to end.” He stated that the American Jewish Congress was proud of having taken its part in awakening America to an understanding of Hitlerism, and of the relations which it has established with the democracies in order to strengthen them and in order to assure a return to Jews of freedom and security.

“Loyalty to America and the democratic way of life requires, in this hour of peril, unselfish devotion to every call that our government may make on us,” said Louis J. Moss, president of the United Synagogue of America, in a message on the occasion of the High Holy Days. The United Synagogue, which is the parent body for Conservative Judaism in America, represents four hundred congregations in the United States and Canada, and many other affiliated groups.


The Jews in America in the year ahead have “the grave and sacred responsibility, at whatever cost, at whatever sacrifice, in collaboration with all of our citizenship, to make America strong,” Henry Monsky, national president of B’nai B’rith, said in his Rosh Hashanah message to American Jewry. “We can and will participate in the nationwide civilian defense program in its many phases. We can and will

An expression of thanks to the Jews of America for their “undeniably important part in sustaining the morale of the British people,” upon the occasion of the Jewish New Year, has been sent to Dr. Israel Goldstein, Chairman of the Jewish Section, Interfaith Committee for Aid to the Democracies, by Mr. Frederick W. Gehle, Chairman of the Fund Raising Division of the British War Relief Society.


Voicing confidence that the New Year will see the and of tyranny, Judge Louis E. Levinthal of Philadelphia, newly elected President of the Zionist Organization of America, in a New Year’s message pledged anew the whole-hearted support of American Zionists to the cause of democracy.

In his message, addressed to American Zionists, Judge Levinthal reiterated the solemn declaration that “the rapid resettlement and rehabilitation of the homeless Jewish masses can be effected only by the reconstitution of Palestine, in its historic boundaries, as a Jewish commonwealth.”

Mrs. David de Sola Pool, national president of Hadassah, in a Rosh Hashanah message, asked for the continuation of the war emergency program for the Jews in Palestine.


Dr. Abba Hillel Silver of Cleveland, National Chairman of the United Palestine Appeal, issued a Rosh Hashanah message to the Jewish community in the United States in which he stressed the fact that during the past year Palestine increased its capacity to absorb Jewish refugees. With enlarged help from American Jewry through the United Palestine Appeal, Dr. Silver said that Palestine would be in a position to provide a home for large numbers of oppressed Jews who will find themselves uprooted following the and of the war.

“I pray that the coming year will bring-victory to mankind and salvation to Israel, and that peace will be vouchsafed to our suffering world,” Dr. Silver said. “But the prospect of peace in itself constitutes a challenge to us to work for a greater and freer Palestine so that myriads of our homeless fellow Jews will be able to go there after the war. The upbuilding of Palestine constitutes today a prime task of historic necessity and wise statesmanship.”


Mr. John M. Schiff, chairman of the Army and Navy Committee of the Jewish Welfare Board, in announcing the arrangements made by the J.W.B. for holiday observances for the Jewish men in the defense forces, said that in hundreds of communities throughout the country, civilian congregations will be joined by soldiers and sailors who are able to leave camps and naval stations in accordance with furlough orders of the War and Navy Departments. Through the more than 180 local Army and Navy Committees of the J.W.B., home hospitality will be extended to servicemen during Rosh Hashanah, September 22nd and 23rd, and again on Yom Kippur, October 1st. “Provisions for the observances include services in camp and communities throughout the country, and in the island bases of Hawaii, the Philippines, Bermuda, Puerto Rice, Trinided, Iceland, Newfoundland and the Canal Zone,” Mr. Schiff said.

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