American Jewish Leaders Mourn Kaplan’s Death

Leaders of American Jewish organizations today issued statements mourning the sudden death of Eliezer Kaplan and emphasizing that he was an inspiration to others in Israel’s battle for economic independence.

On behalf of the Jewish Agency here, acting chairman Mrs. Samuel W. Halprin said that the passing of Mr. Kaplan “removes from the Israel scene one of its most dedicated and unsparing public servants who in recent years repeatedly disregarded the advice of doctors and friends that he let up on some of his activities.

“Mr. Kaplan stepped into the post of Treasurer of the Jewish Agency for Palestine in one of the most crucial periods in the history of Zionism and Jewish Palestine,” Mrs. Halprin declared. “It was at a time when the Agency had to assume responsibility for the absorption of Hitler’s first victims, for the defense of Hitler’s first victims, for the defense of Jewish Palestine against the Mufti’s gangs, for Jewish Palestine contribution to the Allied war effort, the struggle for the admission of the survivors of the Nazi holocaust, and for Israel’s liberation.

“From the day of its establishment until shortly before his death, Mr. Kaplan was responsible for the financial stewardship of the new state. We, who worked closely with the man, learned to respect his dedication simplicity and high competence,” the Jewish Agency statement concluded.

Henry Morgenthau, Jr., chairman of the board of governors; Rudolf G. Sonneborn, president; Julian B. Venezky, chairman of the executive committee; and Henry Montor, vice president of the Israel Bond Organization, issued the following statement:

“We are profoundly grieved at the sudden and utimely death of Eliezer Kaplan. For more than three decades his leadership and self-sacrifice molded the economic foundations of the Jewish homeland. A man of great simplicity and inflexible purpose, he was, in the capacity of Finance Minister, in the thickest part of the battle for the survival of the young nation.

“As chief architect in the launching of the State of Israel Bond Issue, he was the key factor in the program to make Israel economically secure. We mourn him as a hero of the new Republic of Israel, who gladly gave his life on the battlefront of freedom and reconstruction for the Jewish people.

“American Jewry will mourn the passing of a true nation builder, whose fire and devotion as a pioneer in the rebirth of Israel imbued it with a sense of destiny and stimulated it to play so vital a part in the history of the Jewish people.”

NO MAN IN ISRAEL WAS BURDENED WITH GREATER PROBLEMS THAN KAPLAN

Henry Montor, who had worked closely with the late Mr. Kaplan, in the development of the campaigns of the United Palestine Appeal, United Jewish Appeal, and the organization and launching of the State of Israel bond drive during the past 15 years, made a statement of personal tribute to the deceased Israel Government leader in which he pointed out that no man in Israel was burdened with greater problems during the four years of Israel’s existence than Mr. Kaplan.

All tasks in the country, whether economic, military or developmental, resolved themselves into the question of the source of money to finance that particular channel of growth,” the statement said. “Every stage of Israel’s economic expansion had its source in his imagination and encouragement. The United Palestine Appeal, the United Jewish Appeal, the United States Export-Import Bank loan to Israel, the encouragement of private investments, and the launching of the State of Israel Bond Issue, were among the major organizations and events which owed inspiration to Eliezer Kaplan,” Mr. Montor pointed out.

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