Week of Mourning for President Roosevelt Proclaimed by Synagogue Council of America
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Week of Mourning for President Roosevelt Proclaimed by Synagogue Council of America

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The Synagogue Council of America, representing Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewish congregations and rabbis throughout the country, today proolaimed the week of April 15th a week of mourning to honor the memory of President Roosevelt and called on all rabbis and congregations to offer memorial prayers on the day of the funeral and during the week of mourning.

The Synagogue Council also requested that a five minute period of silence be observed during this week, beginning at three p.m. in all Jewish establishments and that all social events scheduled for this week be cancelled in respect to the President’s memory.

Rabbi Horbort S. Goldstcin, president of the Synagogue Council, issued the proclamation and stated that in the death of President Roosevelt ” the world lost its first citizon, the United States its greatest American and Jewry one of its staunchest friends.”

The Union of American Hebrew Congregations, in a message sent to Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt at the White House, stated the the entire nation must be conscrated to the ideas of justice and brotherhood for which the President fought.

A special memorial service for President Roosevelt was held this afternoon on the premises of the Jewish welfare Board. Rabbi Isaac Toubin of the Jewish Welfare Board’s committee on Army and Navy roligious activities, officiated at the services.


Paul Bacrwald, Chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, in a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, said, “The national and world-wide calamity of the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt fills us with particular sorrow. In this tragic hour, we recall the generous support we have reccived from Franklin D. Roosevelt for our work on so many occasions. His unique grasp of world conditions and his unbounded sympathy for the distressed gave Franklin Roosevelt a clear understanding of our offerts to help the persecuted and to relieve the needy. We are proud of having had his approval and encouragement, and we shall carry on in grateful memory.”

Adolph Hold, president of the Jewish Labor Committee, declared, “The Jewish Labor Committee joins in the grief of the American nation over the death of President Roosevelt who was a devoted friend of the Jews and of the labor movement. His sudden death came as a blow to all interested in the fight for liberty and justice. I shall never forget the words uttered by Mr. Roosevelt once, when he received a delegation of our organization. He said: I want to live to see the time when I can stand behind a curtain in Berlin watching Germans beg the American Jew, Herbert Lehman, (director general of UNRRA,) for bread, and this distinguished Jew giving them the bread.”


Announcing that a fitting memorial to President Roosevelt would be established in Palestine, Judge Morris Rothenberg, president of the Jewish National Fund, said that ” Among the great ideals to which President Roosevelt’s life was dedicated and for the fulfillment of which America is pledged to persevere, is the Zionist cause which he espoused and championed so nobly and wholeheartedly. His interest in the up-building of the Jewish National Home was abiding and profound. His historic declaration of October 15,1944, in which he pledged his effort for the realization of the Zionist ideal and the establishment of a Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine, is a part of the great heritage which he left to the American people and to the world.”

Other Zicnist groups and leaders also issued statements mourning the President Rabbi Abba H. Silver said, “His was a heart rich in human sympathies. He believed in and practiced human brotherhood, He recognized no distinctions of race or creed. He was a loyal friend of the Jewish people, and bitterly denounced its Hazi persecutors. Time and again he gave expression to his deep in terest in the cause of Zionism and the rebuilding of the national life of our people in its historie home. Israel mourns the passing of a true and faithful friend and a great leader of free men.”

The Zionist-Revisionist Organization wired Mrs/ Roosevelt expressing the grief of its memership and, at the same time, sent a telegram to President Truman pledging its support of his administration.

Mrs. Moses P, Epstein, president of Hadaasah, sent a telegram to Mrs. Roosevelt voicing sarrow in behalf of 150,000 Jewish women. The National Council of Jewish Women issued a statement by its president, Mrs. Joseph G. Welt, declaring that: “In the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the freedom leving world has lost its greatest leader.”

The Jewish War Veterans of the United States, in a message issued by its national commander, Archie H. Greenberg. experssed grief over the death of present Roosevelt, and pledged “undivided support and cooperation to our new President and Commander-in-Chief, Harry S. Truman.”

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