JERUSALEM (May. 25)
Premier David Ben Gurion was today presented with an honorary degree of Doctor of Hebrew Letters from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America at a special convocation of the Seminary. The presentation was made by Dr. Louis Finkelstein, Chancellor of the Seminary, who came to Israel for this purpose. Over 1,000 persons, including Cabinet members, Parliamentary deputies, scholars, government officials and members of the American consular corps were present, but the Orthodox groups decided not to attend.
Accepting the degree, the Premier called for the development of a “new Jewish scholarship” in which Israel would take a leading role, although he pointed out that to this development the Jews of the whole world would have to contribute. Mr. Ben Gurion pointed out that “the State of Israel was intended to serve not only those Jews who live in it, but the whole Jewish people including those who never expect to settle in it.” He stressed that the State of Israel needs the cooperation of all Jews throughout the world and, above all, of American Jews.
Dr. Finkelstein told the audience that “the time has come to establish in Jerusalem a world conclave of scholars of all faiths and backgrounds to deal with the philosophical perplexities of this generation.” He offered the facilities of the Theological Seminary “with its experience in bringing about co-thinking among men of different backgrounds and desires” to the establishment of this “conclave” and suggested that the Israel Government and the Hebrew University would be able to make special contributions to such a project.