NEW YORK (May. 10)
American Jewry, which has become the leading Jewish community in the world outside of Israel, must face the inescapable responsibility of making the “main decisions for the future development and destiny of the Jewish people as a whole.” Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, declared here today at a reception attended by more than 150 prominent civic leaders.
The event was sponsored by the World Jewish Congress as a tribute to the American Jewish community on its tercentenary anniversary. A highlight of the program was the presentation by Dr. Israel Goldstein, chairman of the Western Hemisphere Executive of the WJC to Ralph E. Samuel, chairman of the Tercentenary Committee, of two bound volumes containing congratulatory messages to the American Jewish community, from Jewish communities in 57 countries throughout the globe. The greetings, written in a dozen different languages by organizations and communities affiliated with the WJC. ,came from such far-off-areas as India, Finland, Rhodesia, Malta, Japan and Ecuador.
In his remarks, Dr. Goldmann said: “American Jewry has, during the last two decades, become the leading Jewish community in the world. Its life and development will set the tune of Jewish life of the world. After the disappearance of the largest part of European Jewry, it is quite natural that the hegemony of Jewish life and leadership has passed to the community of the United States of America. This imposes great obligations on the American Jewish community and creates responsibilities which this community has not yet begun to discharge fully.”
LIKENS FUNCTIONS OF AMERICAN JEWRY TO U.S. ROLE IN WORLD
The function of the American Jewish community, Dr. Goldmann continued, “is some how parallel to the role which the U.S.A. has been called upon to play in world policies during this period when the responsibility of world leadership has shifted from Europe to America. Speaking for all those Jewish communities who have sent their greetings to the American Jewish community, I want to express their deep hope that the leadership and the rank and file of the American Jewish community will become more and more aware of the tremendous responsibility which they cannot avoid facing and which has entrusted to them the main decisions for the future development and destiny of the Jewish people as a whole.”
In presenting the bound volumes to Mr. Samuel. Dr. Goldstein declared that the messages represent the sentiments of four million Jews scattered in 57 different countries, excluding the Iron Curtain nations whose Jewish populations “are not permitted to maintain contacts with their fellow Jews in other parts of the world.” He recalled that during his recent trip on behalf of the World Jewish Congress to Latin America, he had brought back with him greetings from the oldest Jewish communities in the Western Hemisphere. These are in Recife, Brazil; Surinam and Curacao.
“These messages” Dr. Goldstein said, “constitute living proof of the bond of spiritual kinship which links Jews the world over. The solicitations coupled with high expectations, impose a sense of great responsibility upon the Jewish community of the United States to measure up to the cultural philanthropic and moral leadership it is expected to provide to the Jewish people of today and tomorrow.”
Accepting the greetings, Mr. Samuel noted that the tercentenary observance, which will terminate in less than three weeks, has given American Jewry “a new sense of dignity height and stature, and a deep and abiding gratitude for the untold blessings of America.” The celebration, he added, has demonstrated to the world that “in the American climate of freedom liberty and democracy, so called minority groups become continuing and dynamic assets rather than problems or embarrassments.”