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Joint Defense Appeal Launches $5,600,000 Drive; Truman Gets Award

Former President Harry S, Truman received tonight an award from the Joint Defense Appeal as “the American whose contributions to the national welfare epitomize the ideal of American freedom.”

The presentation was made at a dinner initiating the 1957-58 fund-raising campaign of $5,600,000 for the activities of the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. Former Federal Judge Simon Rifkind and Melvin Block were also honored for their contributions to American democracy.

Accepting the award as evidence of the AJC and ADL determination to fight against bigotry and intolerance, and pledging his continued presence in the battle for civil rights. Mr. Truman said:

The United States has derived many of the elements of its democratic faith from the Jewish religion. It is from the Old Testament that we derived our conception of the value and dignity of human life, our belief in the honoral law, and our overwhelming emphasis on justice and freedom. These things are fundamental in the Jewish religion, just as they are fundamental in the democratic principles of our government. They are part of the great religious tradition. Jewish and Christian, that underlies our free institutions. And a citizen who is a good Jew is a good American.

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