Lehman Awarded Gold Medal for Efforts to Promote Inter-faith and Inter-racial Unity

Former Governor Herbert H. Lehman today was awarded the 1948 Inter-Faith In Action gold medal at a testimonial dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria. The award was given in recognition of Mr. Lehman’s “devoted efforts on behalf of inter-racial and inter-faith unity.” The speakers at the dinner, which was attended by representatives of the three major faiths, included Henry Morgenthau Jr., Judge Samuel Rosenman, Brig. Gen. David Sarnoff and other notables.

Addressing the dinner, Gov. Lehman pointed out that many persons who pride themselves on begin good Americans and lovers of democracy “express hatred and intolerance against other Americans because of their race, creed or national origin” thereby attacking and weakening the “fundamentals of both democracy and religion.” Asserting that “we talk glibly of goodwill, and we given lip-service to ‘Brotherhood of Man,’” he declared that “frequently we do not implement these fine words.” He also insisted that “we must live brotherhood in our daily relations with others.”

The former governor suggested that all American should test themselves to see whether they live brotherhood. “We should ask ourselves,” he said, whether children at home are taught that all people are equal in the “sight of God and under the laws of our land”‘ whether in church and synagogue sincere attempts are made to correct untruths and misconceptions of other religious groups; whether tolerance, justice and good will are taught children in the schools and playgrounds; whether attempts are made to give all equal opportunities for employment and education; and, whether attempts are made to eliminate considerations of race, creed and color from political life. “If we are honest with ourselves, the answers to these self-questions will not always be pleasing,” he added.

Proceeds from the dinner went to the $1,000,000 building fund of the Garment Center Congregation and Community House, which will be constructed in the heart of Now York’s garment industry and will include a 450-seat synagogue and an auditorium which will be used for inter-faith forums and broadcasts.

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