America-israel Society Opens Headquarters in Washington

The America-Israel Society, formed last month by leaders in all walks of American life to further cultural relations and goodwill between the people of the United States and Israel, today opened its national headquarters in the Hotel Willard here. The Society, of which Governor Theodore R. McKeldin of Maryland is president, plans to open local chapters in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and other cities.

Among the projects eventually to be undertaken by the Society will be exchange fellowships and professorships for scholars, teachers and scientists as well as artists. In a formal statement marking the opening of the headquarters here, F. Joseph Donohue, chairman of the Society’s board of directors, declared:

“The America-Israel Society has been brought into being by a group of American leaders of all faiths and in many lines of endeavor who believe that there is need for a non-sectarian, non-political, all-inclusive American organization to work for the fullest interchange of ideas and cultural materials between the oldest and the youngest of the world’s present-day democracies.

“Our two countries are bound together by a similar historic experience and by a common devotion to democracy. Both nations uphold three great and basic principles–individual morality, social justice and universal peace.

“We hope that the Society will help Americans to a fuller appreciation of the culture of Israel, and encourage the people of that nation to a better understanding of America and its way of life. The Society will seek to interpret the spiritual tradition and democratic heritage that bind the two nations together to give added meaning to the unity of purpose that characterizes freedom-loving peoples.

“Friendship between the peoples of the two countries is firmly based in their common traditions, pioneering experience and democratic aspirations. Now that Israel is firmly established and is engaged in molding its democratic way of life, it is more important than ever to promote increased understanding and cultural exchange on a permanent basis. For Americans there will be a rewarding experience in reviving the roots of an ancient culture in which our own civilization is founded.”

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