American Jewish Leaders Sound Optimistic Note in Rosh-hashonah Greetings
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American Jewish Leaders Sound Optimistic Note in Rosh-hashonah Greetings

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The hope that the new year will bring salvation to the Jews of Europe and will put an end to the anti-Semitic forces fostered and organized by Nazi Germany is expressed in Rosh-Hashonah greetings issued by leaders of central Jewish organizations to the Jews of the United States. Zionist leaders also expressed the hope that the new year will bring about the establishment of a Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine.

Expressing gratitude to the armies of the United Nations “who have shattered and destroyed the arrogant might of the ruthless aggressor,” and sending greetings to Jewish soldiers fighting on every battlefield, and to the members of the Jewish underground in the occupied areas, the American Jewish Conference, in a Rosh Hashonah message, emphasized that “the long night of Jewish humiliation and suffering nears its end.”

“The tragedy of Jewish life,” the message said “was rendered insufferable not only by reason of the shameful abuse of the tormented body of the Jewish people, but because of the prolonged indifference to their plight by the democratic world, which even after it had challenged the barbarians to the arbitrament of war, persisted in avoiding consideration of Jewish suffering; refraining from help when help could be given; closing the doors of escape when escape was still possible; and exercising an ominous restraint in giving any assurance to the Jewish people as to their place in a free world. Today our hearts rejoice at the sight of Jewish liberation in lands where only yesterday oppression was the order of the day. Every area occupied by the United Nations brings the restoration of Jewish rights and status, the recovery of equality, the ouster of every remnant of the vile purposes of Nuremberg.”


Judge Joseph M. Proskauer, president of the American Jewish Committee, issued a Rosh-Hashonah message stating: “The New Year holds forth many promises. It holds forth victory and a democratic peace. It holds forth the end of savagery and suffering, tears and heartbreak. It holds forth liberty, a chance for the humblest

“To Jews all over the world, to all of us who have suffered so much and have waited so long, the clarion chords of the shofar this New Year will sound the note of hope for this brave new world. In the surge of happy tears which the shofar evokes, in the warm symbolism of the holiday, we will find ourselves anew and rededicate ourselves to enhance the inherent goodness and nobility in men’s souls which the princes of evil tried to throttle. May the New Year vitalize and perpetuate in our hearts and minds the spirit and resolutions of the holiday.”


Judge Morris Rothenberg, president of the Jewish National Fund of America, emphasized in his message that the coming Jewish year “promises to be the harbinger of victory for America and the United Nations, liberation for the oppressed peoples of Europe and of rescue and rehabilitation for the surviving remnants of European Jewry.

“This is, indeed, the supreme moment for which we have so long prayed, worked and fought. As the victorious United Nations are preparing for the establishment of an enduring peace, it becomes necessary to mobilize all our forces for securing an early and favorable solution of the Jewish problem through the establishment of a democratic Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine. For it is patently clear that for a great many of the survivors, rehabilitation and the hope for a new future lies in the expansion of the Jewish National Home in Palestine,” he said.


Frank L. Weil, president of the National Jewish Welfare Board, in a New Year message, pointed out that though victory is on the way, Jews must not let their efforts slacken. “Complete victory is within our grasp, but has not yet been achieved,” he stated. “The war still goes on – and we must continue to exert ourselves to the utmost, to continue to work for complete victory – and after that, to meet all the problems of peace.

“Our American Jewish community has every reason to be proud of what it has done in the war effort to date. Our Jewish men and women in uniform are serving on every front, are part of the spearheads that are digging further and further into many territory. We must do everything possible to back their efforts – we must do everything in our power to prepare American for their triumphant return. The National Jewish Welfare Board, representing the entire Jewish community of America, will continue to serve the Jewish service men and women in every part of the world,” Dr. Weil pledged.


William Green, president of the American Federation of Labor, and Philip Murray, president of the C.I.O., issued, through the Jewish Labor Committee, messages of greetings to Jews assuring them that the day of reckoning for the extermination of the Jewish people is near at hand.

Pointing out that “the tragic experiences of the Jewish people during the past year have reached new heights in suffering and sacrifice.” President Green meted that “those responsible for murder and destruction of the Jewish people will and must pay the penalty for their crimes. Labor will be satisfied with nothing less. “He assured that labor will insist and demand that the Jewish people who have suffered much because of Nazi aggression shall share in the just peace which will follow the defeat of Hitler. We hope and pray that the Jewish New Year will usher in a just and lasting peace.”

Emphasizing that “Nazi aggression has taken such a terrible toll of the Jewish people that the post-war world will owe then a chance to rebuild their destroyed communities and to take their place in the family of free nations.” President Murray concluded: “May the Jewish New Year bring an end to the suffering of the Jewish people and other victims of Nazi barbarism, and may it bring us closer to the just world for which our sons and daughters are now laying down their lives.”


Asserting that the Jewish New Year will be observed by many thousands of Jews in Europe as free men for the first time since the beginning of the Nazi regime, Rabbi James G. Heller, William Rosenwald, and Rabbi Jonah B. Wise, national chairmen of the United Jewish Appeal, declared that American Jews must speed the rehabilitation of the victims of Nazism who are being liberated by the advance of the Allied armies on the European be telefrants.

In a special New Year message to Jews throughout the country, the United Jewish Appeal emphasized that “those who have survived the most ruthless forms of persecution must not now be permitted to fall victim to hunger, to disease, to homelessness and to pain.” They pointed out that the liberating forces of the Allies have made large numbers of Jews free to receive help from their fellow-Jews in the United States, and that a concerted effort for the reconstruction of Jewish communities shattered by war must be immediately undertaken through the agencies of the United Jewish Appeal.


Dr. Stephen S. Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress and chairman of the executive of the World Jewish Congress, issued a statement saying:

“The blackest days have ended. From this time forward the tidings are to be happier and when world will begin to take account not of the lost but of the saved, not of the fallen but of the victorious. No people and no faith have paid as awful a price as has the Jewish people. We speak not of the price which war means, which Jews in America, in Britain, in France, in the Soviet Union have paid, but of the price exacted from the civilian Jewish population of Europe, the toll of which has been vast and ghastly in its measure. The chief compensation is to be the establishment by the Jewish people, together with the United Nations, of a free and Democratic Jewish Commonwealth of Palestine.”


The Synagogue Council of America, in its Rosh Hashonah message said that the world is now confronted with a double task – that of bringing the war to a speedy and successful completion, and that of fighting for a permanent peace with the same initiative, vigor, enthusiasm and united determination that characterized our efforts on the battlefield. “That task is not as easy one; yet, with the proper spiritual consecration it should also be possible to achieve that undertaking,” the message stated.

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