Jews Throughout World Usher in New Year Tonight; Truman Issues Rosh Hashonah Greetings
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Jews Throughout World Usher in New Year Tonight; Truman Issues Rosh Hashonah Greetings

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Greeted by President Truman, members of his cabinet and by many other notables, including Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the Jews in the United States will join the Jews of the world at sunset tomorrow in ushering in the new year, 5706, and in voicing thanksgiving for the Allied victory and for the liberation of the world – and the Jewish people – from Naziism.

Servicemen of Jewish faith will have an opportunity of observing the new year wherever they may be. Military and naval installations everywhere have made preparations for the observance of Rosh Hashonah. Arrangements have also been made for periods of leave, so that many servicemen may attend Rosh Hashonah services in the cities where they are stationed. Ten Jewish chaplains have been sent by the Jewish Welfare Board to Iceland, Greenland, the Azores, Ascension Island, Trinidad, Cuba and other outposts to conduct Rosh Hashonah services there. Other Jewish chaplains, assisted by local rabbis, will hold services for the wounded in hospitals.

President Truman, in his Rosh Hashonah message to the Jews of America, issued through the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, said: “The enemies of civilization who would have destroyed completely all freedom of religion have been defeated. All faiths unite in thanksgiving to Almighty God on our victory over the forces of evil.

“Let us now all join to create the kind of peace settlement which will keep alive freedom of religious beliefs all over the world, and prevent the recurrence of all this misery and destruction. That is the most fitting memorial we can erect to those who have fought and suffered and labored and died in this struggle to preserve decency for mankind.”

The text of Gen. MacArthur’s message reads as follows: “The Jewish High Holy Days, Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur, with their emphasis on the judgment of the Lord and man’s need of penitence, are important observances in this year when destruction and devastation have reached such great proportions. Victor and vanquished alike stand under the judgment of Almighty God. Efforts and sacrifices of these years find justification in a bright new world, and men everywhere must pause in humility and prayer before God. Your ancient traditional High Holy Days are to all men a worthy reminder of Him whose goodness and mercy extend to all mankind.”

Secretary of State James F. Byrnes issued the following message: “The recent ending of the war makes this celebration of the Jewish new year an occasion of the most solemn significance. In sending cordial greetings to all our citizens of Jewish faith I rejoice with you that deliverance has come for those who have suffered so greatly under Nazi and Fascist rule. But deliverance has not yet brought peace and a home to many of them. Together we must work to build a just and enduring peace for all peoples so that all men and women regardless of race, religion or language will be protected from persecution and in the equal enjoyment of all fundamental rights and freedoms.”


Secretary of Commerce Henry A. Wallace said: “As the Jewish New Year approaches, people everywhere can thank God that the days and nights of terror have passed. Millions of Jews who committed no crimes have been murdered. Those who were responsible must be punished. Those who survived the Nazi persecution will, I am sure, help make this the sort of world where evil will never triumph again.”

Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Lokes issued the following greeting: “The end of the war has brought an end to horrible devastation, and it has also brought an and to the sadistic torture of Jews and others. To that extent, the plight of Jewry in Germany and occupied countries has improved. Further damage has been stopped and an opportunity is present for rehabilitation to set in. I hope that the year 5706 will bring great strides of progress in this rebuilding. To my fellow citizens of the Jewish faith in the United States, I extend greetings on the advent of the New Year. I express the hope that in our own land we will continue with strength and courage on the true path of democratic action, and that significant progress will be made in reestablishing the dispersed peoples of Europe.”


Declaring that the end of World War II has raised high the hopes of surviving Jews for speedy rehabilitation overseas and large-scale Palestine settlement, Rabbi James G. Heller, Rabbi Jonah B. Wise and William Rosenwald, national chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, issued a High Holiday message to the Jews of the United States in which they emphasized that mass need, distress and homelessness in the wake of war’s destruction threaten the survival of the remaining Jews of Europe, unless American Jews embark immediately on a tremendous overseas relief and rehabilitation and Palestine upbuilding program to assure for the Jewish survivors a place of dignity and security in the post-war world. They stressed the fact that the agencies of the United Jewish Appeal–the Joint Distribution Committee, the United Palestine Appeal and the National Refugee Service–are required to meet the greatest needs in their history.

Paul Baerwald, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, emphasized in his Rosh Hashonah message that long years of persecution and suffering have erased the word “happiness” from the vocabulary of the Jews in Europe to whom American Jewry is personified in the J.D.C. “They are alive, and in that there is joy,” the message said. “But the common hunger and destitution have made food and the reestablishment of normal living conditions the paramount thought in each mind. The year 5705 has seen victory in Europe, liberation of 1,250,000 Jews from the fear of German deportation. We pray that 5706 will bring peace to all the world and a new life to our brothers in Europe. Then in truth we can say ‘Happy New Year,’ for it will be a year of happiness to all.”


Rabbi Jonah B. Wise, speaking in behalf of the JDC, today broadcast, through the facilities of the Office of War Information, a message of greeting to the Jews of Europe, assuring them that the JDC will continue to extend to them in the coming year the maximum amount of assistance possible.

Judge Morris Rothenberg, president of the Jewish National Fund, issued a Rosh Hashonah message stating that “the Jewish people earnestly hope that President Truman’s recent statement on Palestine is a foreshadowing of prompt and concrete steps to be taken soon to abrogate the White Paper and to implement the basic purpose of the Balfour Declaration by the establishment of a free and democratic Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine,”

Frank L. Weil, president of the National Jewish Welfare Board, said that for the first time in fifteen years world Jewry can feel a surge of genuine hope as the New Year is welcomed. “It has been the privilege of the National Jewish Welfare Board to contribute, as the agent of the Jewish community, to the Allied victory,” the statement declared. “As we give voice to our gratitude for peace and victory, we must renew our determination to make the world a better place to live in during the coming year.”

Rosh Hashonah messages were also issued by the Synagogue Council of America, the HIAS, The National Labor Committee for Palestine, Hadassah and other Jewish organizations, all of which emphasized that the surviving Jews in Europe look to American Jewry for aid. William Green, president of the American Federation of Labor, and Philip Murray, president of the C.I.O., issued greetings through the Jewish Labor Committee pledging that organized labor in the United States will not forget the responsibility of the civilized world to the Jews who were the most tragic victims of Nazi aggression.

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