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Jewish Leaders Pay Tribute to Brandeis

The loss suffered by the American nation and the Jews of the world in the death of Justice Louis D. Brandeis is emphasized in messages issued here today by leading Jewish personalities and organizations.

Governor Herbert H. Lehman, paying tribute to the memory of Brandeis, said in a statement issued to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency: “I have learned with the deepest regret of the passing of Mr. Justice Louis D. Brandeis. Justice Brandeis was a great liberal and a great American. He was one of the outstanding jurists of our generation and a social leader who had the full confidence of the people. The nation has suffered a great loss in his death.”

Edward M. M. Warburg, Chairman, and Paul Baerwald, Honorary Chairman of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee issued a joint statement, declaring that: “The death of Louis D. Brandeis brings to a close a distinguished career fruitful with accomplishment and honor. It deprives us of a great leader and teacher whose convictions in the interest and welfare of the human being have been written into the structure and tradition of American law. Deeply imbued with the spirit of America, he has left behind him an imperishable record. For many years he was deeply concerned with the problems and plight of the Jews of the world. The Jewish communities found in him a leader of rare calibre. In both capacities, Louis D. Brandeis is irreplaceable.”

Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, in a message to the J.T.A. stated: “I shall describe Justice Brandeis as an American prophet in the pulpit of the Free Synagogue Sunday morning. Such he was and as such he will be remembered by his countrymen. As a Jew and his successor more than twenty years ago in the chairmanship of the Provisional Committee for General Zionist Affairs, it is enough to say that there is no Brandeis left to die. He was one of the greatest of Americans, one of the noblest Jews of a millennium. His was the genius of character, who stood four square to every wind that blew, a tower of moral strength to his generation – a simple austere American Jew.”

Judge Louis E. Levinthal, president of the Zionist Organization of America, issued a statement from Philadelphia saying: “I find it difficult to express what his loss means to the Zionist movement. He was its sage and mentor. He was the prophet and statesman. He was the kindly guide and friend. Zionists the world over will rededicate themselves at this moment to carry on his ideals and his name shall forever remain a source of hope and determination.”

Rabbi Solomon Goldman, vice-president of the ZOA and its former president, said in Chicago: “The free democratic world will mourn the loss of one of its greatest and most cherished prophets. Few men in our day were as much the embodiment and the symbol of the values most precious to civilized men as Louis Dembitz Brandeis. He is known throughout the land as the genius of the law, but he was really even greater as the genius of righteous living. The whole life of the man every day, every week, every year is reminiscent of the rarest sense of which the great religions can boast. To America he was another Lincoln; To the Jewish people an Isaiah who envisaged with the same glow of passion the world of justice and peace and in that world a Zion restored. The optimism of Justice Brandeis who was nearing his 85th birthday was infectious. In the direst days of the present war, he never lost hope in the triumph of democracy and in the rebuilding of Palestine as a Jewish homeland. The Jewish world is bereaved and mourns the loss of its greatest son.”

Louis E. Kirstein, Chairman of the Board of the American Jewish Committee, in a message from Boston, said: “Justice Brandeis was a great public servant and his death is a tremendous loss to the nation. During a friendship of 40 years I came to know him as a man of brilliant intellect and engaging personal attributes. His death comes as a distinct shock to me. Boston particularly benefitted from his wisdom and effort. The life of Justice Brandeis has been an inspiration to all Americans. He was the exemplar of justice, fair, humane and kindly. All who knew him personally were impressed by his character. The United States suffers an irreparable loss in the death of one who devoted his life to the maintenance and administration of that which is just.”

Henry Monsky, president of the B’nai B’rith, issued a statement reading: “One of the great Americans of his time, Louis Dembitz Brandeis, did much by his intellectual integrity and the enduring quality of his judicial opinions to keep the torch of Americanism shining brightly. Serving both justice and the renaissance of the Jewish people with devotion and faithfulness, Justice Brandeis was one of the great moral forces of our day. Better than anyone he summed up his career when he said his philosophy of life was ‘high thinking and simple living.'”

Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, in a message from Cleveland, stated: “One of the great spirits of America passes with the death of Louis D. Brandeis. He touched many lives, inspired many careers and pointed the way to his generation-the free and just way, the American way. He was a great liberal but not a revolutionary nor a doctrinaire. He had the prudent courage of all great constructive leaders of men. Justice Brandeis embodied the superb idealism and the passion for social righteousness of the ancient prophets of his race. He was a loyal Jew humbly proud of his great heritage and he served his people most faithfully. His greatest service to his people was his whole-hearted devotion to the cause of the upbuilding of the Jewish National Home in Palestine. He was the inspiring leader of the Zionist movement both here and abroad. Jewry is grateful for his life and proud to have given this noble son to America.”

Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the Jewish National Fund of America, in a statement declared: “American Zionists and the countless thousands of American supporters of the Jewish National Fund’s land acquisition and reclamation work in Palestine, in which Louis D. Brandeis took a deep and abiding interest, join the nation in mourning the great and irreparable loss that has been sustained in the death of the great jurist. A champion of the common people, the People’s Lawyer, before his ascension to the Supreme Court bench, took a leading part in formulating and implementing the Zionist program for the re-establishment of the Jewish Homeland in Palestine. To him who devoted his life to the advocacy of the principles of order under law and social justice, the world was inconceivable without a positive and constructive program for the solution of the appalling problem of the persecuted, disinherited and landless masses of the Jewish people in Europe.”

Frank L. Weil, president of the National Jewish Welfare Board, in a statement to the JTA said: “Louis D. Brandeis had vigor, courage and vision. Throughout his life, he was in the forefront of causes for the betterment of human beings. Life was to him a constant challenge for the exertion of his best efforts to bring about improvement in the general good. His deeply American faith made him a valiant fighter for freedom and for liberty. His pride in his Jewish heritage and tradition richly endowed him with understanding and the eagerness to serve. His guidance and his example will be deeply missed.”

Mrs. Edward Jacobs, member of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, in a statement declared: “Justice Louis D. Brandeis was a moral genius. His code of conduct and his giant intellect were controlled by his great ethical being. By that power he could defend his convictions, sponsor unpopular causes adopt standards of simple life, defiant of environment. His strength came from his spiritual reservoir which made him master of himself. He put his faith in the common man. He had confidence in the Jew and believed in right and justice ultimately prevailing. Although he could not be deceived by anything not the truth and would not allow his own standards to be vitiated, nevertheless he had understanding of human frailties.”

Judge Morris Rothenberg of the City Magistrates’ Courts, a former president of the ZOA, paid tribute to Brandeis at the opening of Court where he presided this morning. “Before proceeding to the day’s business, let us rise in tribute to the memory of a great American, a great jurist, a great liberal and a great Jew who passed away in Washington yesterday, Justice Louis D. Brandeis, lately retired,” Judge Rothenberg said. Extolling Brandeis for his services to the country, Judge Rothenberg concluded: “As a Jew he was a sage leader of his people. Their problems and their sad plight were ever in his mind. The Zionist cause was closest to his heart. He did much to secure international recognition for the Zionist cause and to promote the sound foundations of the Jewish homeland in Palestine.The life and deeds of Justice Brandeis were a benediction to America and to Israel. His memory will long be cherished.”

Among the tributes to Justice Brandeis were those from the Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs, from Mrs. David de Sola Pool, National President of the Hadassah, from Benjamin Kaufmann, National Commander of the Jewish War Veterans and others.

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