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First World Hebrew Congress Opens in Jerusalem; Hebrew Union-jewish Agency Rift Bared

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The first World Hebrew Congress, attended by delegates from all parts of the world, was opened here last night at the Y.M.C.A. by the Hebrew post, Jacob Cahan. The opening session was addressed by Israel’s Minister of Education, Zalman Shazar, who attributed the “miracle of the Hebrew renaissance” to the “endless devotion and tireless efforts of the first pioneers of the Hebrew language.”

Evidence of a divergency between the Jewish Agency and the World Hebrew Union–which is sponsoring the Congress–was brought to the surface when Berl Locker, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive here, denied that the Agency was opposed to the Congress. Mr. Locker said that the Jewish Agency wants the World Hebrew Union to join the efforts of the Jewish Agency to revive the Hebrew language throughout the world.

“Let the World Hebrew Union’s efforts flow into the Zionist movement’s big river, for the achievement of the common task,” Mr. Locker said. Samuel J. Borowsky, president of the Histadruth Ivrith of America, who heads the U.S. delegation to the Congross, in a reply to Mr. Locker, demanded that the Jewish Agency extend assistance to the Union to “enable it to conduct its work.”

Greetings to the Congress delegates were extended by Mayor Daniel Auster, Prof. Simcha Assaf, outgoing rector of the Hebrew University, and other leading Israelis. Attending the opening session of the Congress were Joseph Sprinzak, Speaker of the Knesset, members of the Israel Cabinet, leading authors, scientists and poets, and the 86-year-old widow of the pioneer of the Hebrew language, Eliezer ben Yehudah.

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