U.S. Jewry Starts New Year with Prayers for Peach, Israel and Welfare of Jews Abroad
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U.S. Jewry Starts New Year with Prayers for Peach, Israel and Welfare of Jews Abroad

Jews throughout the world usher in the new Jewish year 5710 tonight with prayers for world peace for Israel and for the welfare of Jewish communities in Europe, North Africa and other countries.

Jewish personnel in the American armed forces throughout the world and Jewish military personnel and patients in some 500 installations and Veterans Administration hospitals in the U.S. will welcome the New Year tonight at special Rosh Hashanah services arranged by the National Jewish Welfare Board. High Holiday services for Jews in the U.S. armed forces will also be held in Japan, Hawaii, Guam, Germany, Austria, Okinawa, Panama and the West Indies conducted by 210 Jewish chaplains.

The Synagogue Council of America, representing the major Jewish religious groups in the United States, issued a Rosh Hashanah message declaring: “While Jews look forward to new inspiration and stimulation from the reborn Holy Land, they should not lose sight of their special duty as Jews in the lands of the West. The Jews of the United States have a two-fold task to perform–‘to seek the welfare of Jerusalem’ by helping Israel to absorb its immigration of refugees and simultaneously, with zealous effort, to promote Jewish religious life in the United States. There rests upon the Jews of the U.S. an obligation to strengthen and transmit their Jewish religious life to their children. The synagogues and Jewish institutions of learning and all social welfare in this land must be given enhanced and whole-hearted support.”


Henry Morgenthau Jr., general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, in a Rosh Hashanah message praised American Jewry for its “tremendous achievement” in making possible the immigration of 250,000 refugees to Israel during the past year. Simultaneously he called for increased support of the U.J.A. to alleviate the plight of 70,000 newcomers in Israel who will celebrate Rosh Hashanah in crowded barracks and tents.

Hadassah today announced a campaign to begin during the High Holidays for the collection of new clothing urgently needed by the 70,000 Jewish immigrants now living in reception centers in Israel. The drive was announced in a New Year’s message sent to 1,500 Hadassah chapters throughout the country. Mrs. Samuel W. Halprin, president, urged the 270,000 members of the organization to secure emergency clothing kits for the immigrants. No worn garments will be accepted.

William Rosenwald, honorary president of the United Service for New Americans, disclosed in a Rosh Hashanah message that more than 32,000 homeless Jews arrived in the United States from Europe during the Jewish year 5709 just concluded. Of them, 20,000 entered under the Displaced Persons Act. “With the continued cooperation and support of American Jewry, the last of the DP’s may yet, before the year 5710 is over, see the beginning of a brighter future,” he said.

George Baoker, president of the American ORT Federation, declared in a message that ORT vocational retraining programs have been expanded during the past year to meet the needs of destitute Jews in many countries. “In the three postwar years, ORT has trained 81,816 students in 23 countries, with more than half of these trained in the DP camps of Germany, Austria and Italy,” Mr. Backer stated. “We remain convinced that the passport to freedom for our people is the acquisition of skilled trades, ” he added.

Frank L. Weil, president of the National Jewish Welfare Board, said in his Rosh Hashanah message that the new Jewish year finds Jewish community centers and IM-YWHA’s flourishing as never before. “Responding to the needs and requirements of our time, our centers and Y’s continue a youthful and vigorous force in the Jewish community, through the Jewish center movement which is approaching its centennial,” he stated. “The Jewish centers throughout the country in the year ahead will make an even greater contribution toward the elevation of American Jewish life.”


Declaring that 5709 has been a “year of fulfillment for world Jewry,” Frank Goldman, president of B’nai B’rith, said: “There now lies a greater task before us. It is our duty to help Jews all over the world mend their shattered lives and rebuild their once flourishing communities. As Americans and as Jews who find in our beloved country the synthesis of the finest in Judaism and in democracy, we must help the world achieve the same human rights and fundamental freedoms that we enjoy.”

Stressing that the message of Judaism is universal, Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, declared “unyielding resistance to the modern idolatry of racial and national self-worship.” He pledged the Council’s efforts to “help Judaism in America realize the message of the Prophets, and enable Americans of Jewish faith to follow their destiny as an integral and inseparable part of the American people.”

Judge Morris Rothenberg, acting national chairman of the United Palestine Appeal and president of the Jewish National Fund of America, declared that the “new year 5710 finds American Jewry holding the key solution to the life-and-death crisis which is gripping Israel.” In a message to 1,500 J.N.F. councils throughout the U.S., Judge Rothenberg declared: “Israel needs our help. But even so, we need the spiritual enrichment that comes to us from our help to Israel. We still need the bond of the Jewish National Fund that ties our friends, our families and our children, our festivals and our mourning, to the soil and the tress of Israel.”

Rosh Hashanah messages were also issued by Leon Gellman, president of the Mizrachi Organization of America; Justice Meier Steinbrink, chairman of the Anti-Defamation League; Samuel A. Telsey, president of HIAS; Mrs. Joseph M. Welt, president of the National Council of Jewish Women; Dr. Nelson Glueck, president of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; Isaac Hamlin, secretary of the National Committee for Labor Israel; William B. Harlands, president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and others.

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