World Jewry Ushers in New Year 5712
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World Jewry Ushers in New Year 5712

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Jews throughout the world will tonight begin the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, ushering in the year 5172. Leaders of the free world joined leading figures in Israel, religious spokesmen and community organizations in messages of greeting to the Jews of America on the occasion of the High Holy Days.

In a New Year’s message to the Jews of the United States, President Truman said: “The celebration of the Jewish New year is another reminder that this country is a union of people of many backgrounds and religions. In this unity out of diversity leis the great strength of our democracy. Our united efforts are urgently needed today, when, in co-operation with the entire free world, we are engaged in the enormous task of strengthening the defenses of civilization against the forces of totalitarian imperialism. With these thoughts in mind I extend to all Americans of Jewish faith hearty good wishes for the coming year.”

In these sentiments the President was joined by Secretary of Defense Robert A. Lovett, who issued the following message: “May Rosh Hashanah, the New Year of the Jewish religion, serve to remind us of all faiths of the blessings we enjoy as Americans and of our duty to foster, perpetuate and defend the ideals upon which our way of life has been established and maintained.”


In a message to all citizens of Israel and to “Jews near and far,” Dr. Chaim Weizmann, President of the State of Israel, reviewed the struggles of his country during the past year, and paid tribute to the “unstinted support extended us by the great Jewish communities abroad. At this turn of the year,” he continued, “our heart goes out to them in deep gratitude. They have written a grand new chapter in the timeless record of Jewish brotherhood and selfless service.”

president Weizmann’s message also pointed out that the coming year is likely to increase, rather than diminish, Israel’s responsibilities. He pledged that the doors of the country would be kept open to immigrants and refugees and that the entire social and political regime of the country would be subservient to that “major purpose.” He warned that this program world “entail heavy sacrifice,” but added; “Freedom is a hard taskmaster, but the reward of all these efforts and sacrifices will assuredly come.”

Israeli Premier David Ben Gurion, reviewing the year’s immigration accomplishments, reported that over 210,000 Jews had entered the Jewish state since last Rosh Hashanah, including the two most ancient Jewish communities in exile, the Jews of Yemen and Babylon. He pledged that Israel “shall eagerly continue to support this burden, fully aware that it is for our generation to discharge this primary task and in the hope that the Jewish people throughout its dispersion will devotedly join in this historic enterprise.” Pointing out that Israel supported the United Nations in its effort to promote world peace, he said that Israel will “persevere in the furtherance of peace, freedom and justice among nations in the spirit of the prophet of Israel.”

Dr. Nahum Goldmann, co-chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, expressed confidence in a holiday message in behalf of the executive, that “American Jewry will never falter in extending the aid which is so sorely needed and so richly de served by the people of Israel.” He added that “the enormity of the tasks facing Israel this Rosh Hashanah is equalled by the spirit of her people. We must match it with our generosity and goodwill.”


The National Jewish Welfare Board has completed preparations for services for Jewish servicemen in Korea. The Army aided the JWB by setting up field kitchens for holiday meals and furnishing billets for Jewish GI’s who were arriving in Pusan and Seoul on 72-hour leaves issued by command of Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway. Else where in war-torn Korea Jewish troops were attending services near the front lines conducted by Jewish Army and Marine Corps chaplains.

In addition, the JWB world-wide set-up was helping answer the holiday needs of American Jewish personnal in as widely scattered places as Japan. Philippines. Alaska, Newfoundland, Iceland, North Africa, Germany, Austria and the Caribbean area. In the United States 250 full and part-time JWB chaplains were helping soldiers celebrate Rosh Hashanah.


Rabbi Irving Miller, President of the American Jewish Congress, declared in his message: “On this Rosh Hashanah eve, we of the Congress look with pride upon the vast contributions we have made towards the extension and strengthening of democratic rights for all Americans; enriching Jewish life in America; safeguarding the rights of Jews throughout the world, and assuring the security and well-being of Israel. Though these are notable achievements, we envisage our tasks as continuing one. We therefore pledge not to slacken our efforts during the year 5712 to hold the grounds gained, and to continue our significant contributions towards the security of the Jewish people everywhere.”

Dr. Israel Goldstein, chairman of the World Jewish Congress western hemisphere executive, pointed out that in the present-day world the Jewish people, due to their minority position, are exposed to special dangers. “Under the guise of national security, the forces of regimentation on the right and on the left, exploit the prevailing mood to suppress fundamental freedoms which are the very marrow of democracy,” he stated.

In behalf of the American Jewish Committee, Jacob Blaustein, president, said: “In this nation, together with Americans of every creed, We voice our gratitude at the progress registered in advancing those goals which are inherent in our democracy–equal rights and opportunity for all. In the New Year, it is proper and not unrealistic to hope that we shall see even greater efforts made to eliminate such prejudices and discrimination as still exist here.”

Julian Freeman, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, pointed out that tasks which American Jewry has undertaken are unfinished–here, in Europe and in Israel. Adding that there is much that must be built on the “foundation of community organization which we have established,” Mr. Freeman added that among the things that are needed to continue with the task are leadership, mass help, intelligence, understanding and wisdom, plus “the fullest measure of concentration and perseverance” in what promises to be a critical year for Jewry and mankind.


United Palestine Appeal chairman Rudolf G. Sonneborn asserted that the “precarious condition of international relations, coupled with the unpredictable status of Jews in the Iron Curtain and Moslem countries, make it imperative that an accelerated exodus program be carried out to bring to Israel the tens of thousands of Jews from danger, deadline and distressed areas throughout the world.” Among these prospective immigrants he listed 45,000 expected from Rumania within the next few months, 30,000 who have applied for exit visas in Hungary, 100,000 from Iran and a potential reservoir of at least 100,000 in North Africa.

Asking American Jewish to redouble their efforts in behalf of the vast reclamation project of the Jewish National Fund in Israel, JNF president Dr. Harris J. Levine, said: “The five million Jews of the United States are Israel’s best hope for reclamation the land from the desert, waste and ruin of centuries and of restoring it to its ancient fertility, rendering it once again a land flowing with milk and honey.”

In a message of greetings from the American Zionist Council, Louis Lipsky, chairman, expressed pride in the developments of the last year, including Israel’s progress toward peace and security and American Jewry’s role in aiding Israel “in its program of redemption and reconstruction.” Benjamin Browdy, Zionist Organization of America president, said that the ZOA is determined to mobilize ” in larger measure” material and political support for Israel and, at the same time, strive to further the cultural enrichment of the American Jewish community.” Mrs. Rose Halprin, Hadassah president, declared that “it is imperative to the forces of freedom that we give material succor and spiritual encouragement to the Middle East’s only bastion of democracy”- Israel.


Rabbi Simon G. Kramer, president of the Synagogue Council of America, which represents the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewish religious bodies in the U.S., said: “On this Rosh Hashanah, as we gather in our synagogues to pray to the Almighty for a year of happiness and peace, our supplications are not for ourselves alone, but for the entire human family.” The United synagogue of America, organization of the Conservative synagogues, announced that it was beginning a concerted drive for the revitalization of Sabbath Observance in Conservative congregations during the High Holy Days.

A Rosh Hashanah message from Dr. Maurice N. Eisendrath, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, spokesman for the 440 Reform congregations throughout the Western Hemisphere, called on American Jews to live by the moral mandate of Judaism as well as to practice it. The Rabbinical Alliance of America, in a message from Rabbi Leon Machlis, its president, said that “American Jewry’s responsibility today has become so much greater, so much more terrifying,” adding that “besides the responsibilities of caring for our Jewish brethren who have remained in Europe and those in Israel, we have a greater responsibility, and that is to return to the teaching of the Torah.”

Some 600 rabbis throughout this country have endorsed a call to Jewish congregations urging that a special appeal be made during the High Holidays for the $500,000,000 Israel Bond drive. The nationwide enlistment of rabbis for the special appeal is a joint effort of the Religious Groups Department of the bond drive and the call was issued by Rabbi Jacob Levinson, honorary president of the American Mizrachi Organization and vice-president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United states and Canada.


Dr. Everett R. Clinch, president of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, in a New Year’s message to the Jews of the world. wished them peace, freedom and security. Stressing that the world is ”still divided by ancient hates and modern hostilities.” Dr, Clinchy said: ”In such a world it is good to see our beloved country. where Protestants, Catholics and Jews as a matter of principle mutually grant each other respect and equality. give leadership to the cause of worldwide in tergroup harmony.”

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society is helping more than 500 newcomers who are in its temporary shelters and on Ellis Island celebrate the New Year at special synagogue services. In a message to these newcomers, HIAS president Samuel A. Telsey pledged that HIAS would continue to function next year in principal European cities. Dr. William Haber, president of the American ORT Federation, issued a statement rededicating the organization to ”continuing and expanding its essential work of providing Jews, wherever they are in need of rehabilitation, with the skills which can make them independent and permit them to lead constructive and useful lives in their communities.”

Other Rosh Hashanah messages were issued by: Joseph Schlossberg, general chairman of the National Committee for Labor Israel; Dr. Sara Feder, President of Pioneer Women; National Council of Jewish Women; Dr. Samuel Belkin, president of Yeshiva University: Rabbi Morris M. Goldberg, president of the New York Board of Rabbis; Milton Weill, president of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York; and Rabbi S.M. Zambrowsky, executive president of the Mizrachi Organization of Canada.

In a special Rosh Hashanah radio broadcast on the Mutual Broadcasting System New York Senator Herbert H. Lehman attacked the Soviet Union for carving out” what amounts to a cold pogrom against the Jews. He also urged Jews to join with Americans of every religion in praying that ”all curtains of darkness will soon be lifted and a new light of freedom will illuminate the earth.” He was presented by the American Jewish Committee, which also sponsored a television program featuring a Rosh Hashanah theme.

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