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Jewish Tercentenary Committee Issues Report on Its Plans

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The American Jewish Tercentenary Committee which was established for the purpose of arranging the 300th anniversary celebration of Jewish settlement in the United States–which will take place in 1954-today made public a report on the scope of the observance.

The report does not outline specific plans for the celebration, but emphasizes that these must include research and scholarship, community observances, religious activities, and use of mass information media.

The report reveals that a suggestion had been made for a permanent physical symbol of the Tercentenary, such as a building in Washington to be called the House of Human Freedom. This building would house documents dealing with human freedom to symbolize Jewish appreciation for the opportunities which America has given the Jews to live and develop in freedom. This proposal is being given active consideration by the Tercentenary Committee, the report indicates.

The report points out that the celebration would deal “with the whole stream of American Jewish history, in which both the early settlers and the later ones share equally.” It emphasizes that in its American aspects, it is fitting for the Tercentenary to assume a patriotic tone–not in a superficial flag-waving spirit, but rather in the sense that all Americans hold a deep and often unspoken love for their country and its people.”

“In its Jewish sense, it is equally fitting that we recognize, not in self-glorification but in self-respect, the good things that we as a group have brought to America,” the report continues. “We have brought to the United States a deep religious faith and we have kept it alive within a harmony of differing faiths. We have brought a tradition of learning, of scholarship, of scientific curiosity. We have brought a love of the arts, and a respect for those who create with words and sounds and colors.

“We have brought a healthy and growing culture in the Yiddish and Hebrew languages, with a flourishing literature, press and theatre. With our all-too-intimate knowledge of persecution, we have brought a deep passion for human freedom and personal dignity. With our intimate knowledge of poverty and privation in the Old World, we have brought a striving for social justice and equality of economic opportunity.”

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