Roosevelt Lauds Rabbi Wise on His 70th Birthday; “wise Colony” is Planned
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Roosevelt Lauds Rabbi Wise on His 70th Birthday; “wise Colony” is Planned

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President Roosevelt; in a message of greetings to Rabbi Stephen S. Wise on the occasion of his 70th birthday, today hailed the leader of the American Jewish Congress as a person who for more than two score years of public life has “striven unceasingly for world tolerance, for the rights of the working man and his family, for the betterment of the oppressed and under-privileged and for the relief of those left destitute by two great wars.”

The President’s message was made public tonight at a dinner given in honor of Rabbi Wise at the Hotel Commodore by the American Jewish Congress and the Zionist Organization of America. It was announced at the dinner that a fund will be raised among Jews in America for the formation of a colony in Palestine to be named after Dr. Wise.

Responding to tributes paid to him at the dinner by numerous speakers, Dr. Wise reiterated his demand for the establishment of Palestine as a Jewish Common wealth. A proud self-revering people cannot permanently live without its own national home,” Dr. Wise said.


Messages of greetings were received by Rabbi Wise from Dr. Chaim Weismann, from the Jewish National Council of Palestine, and from central Jewish organizations in Canada, Australia, England and Latin American countries. Among the greetings was one from the Jews of Russia cabled by the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee from Moscow. This is the first time since the Revolution that a Zionist leader in America or else where has been greeted by a Moscow Jewish organization.

“The Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in the U.S.S.R.,” the cable read, “sends best wishes on the occasion of your seventieth birthday, We greatly value your work to strengthen the friendship between the peoples of our countries and to muster the Jews of U.S.A. in the struggle against Fascism. We wish you every success in your noble work for the acceleration of the victory over our common enemy, for the happiness of all mankind and for the salvation of our people.”

Isaac Ben Zvi, president of the Jewish Council of Palestine, sent the following message from Jerusalem; “Vand Leumi on behalf of the entire Yishuv extends heartfelt greetings of Zion and Jerusalem on your seventieth birthday. For decades you have firmly guarded the honor of Israel and courageously fought for its rights as a nation and its reestablishment in its ancient homeland. We wish you strength and health to continue your fruitful work on behalf of World Jewry and the establishment of the National Home in Eretz Israel.”

Dr. Weizmann, in his message, emphasized that “your 70th birthday is an event which in normal times would have been celebrated with the greatest rejoicing throughout scattered Jewry.” He lauded Rabbi Wise as a pillar of American and World Jewry and as a person who has well served the Zionist movement and every Jewish cause.

Expressing his thanks to the American Jewish Congress and to the Zionist Organization of America for honoring him, Rabbi Wisse said; “The American and the World Jewish Congress are the embodiment of our faith in the Jewish people and again in the will of the nations to do justice to them that have been long and deeply wronged. But here, too, Jews do not wish to depend upon fleeting goodwill or occasional friendliness on the part of rulers or governments. The American and the World Jewish Congress rest their case on the right of Jews to be themselves, to be dealt with justly, to enjoy all those rights which humans enjoy in the democracies and those special rights which may hereafter be accorded to minority groups in such lands as constitutionally include minority groups.”

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