Rosh Hashanah Services Usher in New Year of Hope for World’s Jews
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Rosh Hashanah Services Usher in New Year of Hope for World’s Jews

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As Jews throughout the world began tonight the observance of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, they looked back on a year of accomplishment and trial, jubilation and concern. During the outgoing year 5718, American Jews had joined with fellow Jews from all parts of the world in pilgrimages to Israel to celebrate the Jewish State’s rebirth ten years before. In this country, Jews from every geographic section had closed ranks behind Southern Jews whose synagogues, schools and community centers had become the target of fanatics’ bombs.

Joining American Jews this Rosh Hashanah in greeting 5719 with hope and determination, will be their thousands of sons and daughters scattered across the face of the world serving in the United States armed forces on land, sea and air. Holiday services will be led by Jewish chaplains attached to Army, Navy and Air Force units on the alert in 65 countries and on the seven seas. Services will also be held at military installations and veterans hospitals in the United States.

In advance of the holiday, the National Jewish Welfare Board dispatched huge quantities of kosher foods and religious supplies to 650 posts, ships and hospitals in the U.S., Europe, Africa, Greenland, Alaska, Pacific and the Far East. Under its auspices 370 full and part-time chaplains and 10,000 volunteer workers will attend to the religious and morale: needs of American Jewish servicemen and women.

A special Rosh Hashanah greeting, taped by Rabbi Israel Goldstein of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, New York, was beamed to Jews in the Soviet Union tonight. It was transmitted by powerful stations operated around the periphery of the Soviet Union by Radio Liberation.

In this city, more than 450 synagogues will make special appeals during services for their congregants’ support of the United Jewish Appeal. Similar pleas will be voiced on Yom Kippur.

Special services will be conducted at all institutions affiliated with the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York which have synagogue facilities. At others of the 116 affiliated institutions, cantors and rabbis will offer bed-side services. A special service for recent immigrants will be held at the United Hias Service hostel.


Herbert R. Abeles, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, declared in a New Year’s message that it was incumbent on American Jewry “to go forward in our tasks in the New Year with reinforced conviction in the strength of our Jewish community organizations, with the determination to provide help wherever help is needed, to give haven to the homeless–in Israel and other friendly lands, to fortify our future by teaching our children the glories of Jewish tradition, strengthen human rights for all people, continue our assaults upon deadly disease, keep our families strong and united.”

“The approaching Jewish New Year will arrive amidst an alarming array of deepening world crises,” Irving M. Engel, president of the American Jewish Committee declared, adding that “the exploration of self” and the personal commitment of every Jew to his spiritual heritage “Invokes questions of profound morality.” He said that American Jews must consider the problems of the times in terms of one of the “basic tenets” of Judaism–“the individual’s responsibility to his fellow Jews and to his fellow men of all creeds and races.”

Dr. Joachim Prinz, President of the American Jewish Congress, said that the High Holy Days “present an inescapable truth, that the moral regeneration of mankind is intimately linked with the decision of each individual to pursue the prophetic ideals of freedom, justice and equality.” Denouncing the opposition in the south to integration of the Negro, he warned that “The American conscience must remain deeply troubled until our Negro citizens are given full and equal membership in our society.”

Dr. Israel Goldstein, chairman of the Western Hemisphere Executive of the World Jewish Congress, said that “the paramount prayer” of Jews everywhere at High Holy Day services would be “the prayer for peace which is the seal of all blessings.” He declared that the past 12 months would be remembered “mostly for man’s scientific advances which have enabled man-made satellites to be projected into outer space. It still remains for him to advance correspondingly in the field of human relations.”

The Canadian Jewish Congress declared that for Jews the past year “was a time of rejoicing in the achievements of the State of Israel during the past ten years. Canadian Jewry will have another anniversary to celebrate during the oming year–the bicentennary of the Jews in Canada.”

Philip M. Klutznick, president of B’nai B’rith, declared that neither “ghetto imprisonment” nor crisis atmosphere “Is needed to give American Jewry its unifying force.” In calling on American Jews “to live Jewishly,” he said that “a person fulfils the obligation of his Jewish heritage only by his own spiritual motivation, from inside himself, not when it is forced on him by pressures from the non-Jewish environment.”

David L. Ullman, chairman of the National Community Relations Advisory Council, in a Rosh Hashanah message, found “deep cause for humble gratification that the Jewish community in America has experienced another year of maturation and growing status, with its inner vitality strengthened.” He foresaw “continuing need for commitment to those principles of human dignity and individual human worth that permeate Jewish tradition and underlie the American dream of a nation in which each man is measured by his own intrinsic worth, whatever his religion or ethnic origin or race.

Louis P. Rocker, president of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, pledged that “the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the faithful reporter of the joys and ills, the triumphs and defeats of the Jewish people during the past 41 years, will carry out its duties in 5719 to the maximum possibilities given it by the community.”


The year 5719, which marks the beginning of Israel’s second decade of freedom, inaugurates also the third decade of the work of the United Jewish Appeal, it was pointed out in a special holiday message from Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, executive vice-chairman of the UJA. “The rescue of a people,” said Rabbi Friedman, “the building of a land, take more than a decade, or even two. It is the task of a generation.” He pledged that UJA will continue its work “for some years ahead.”

Dewey D. Stone, national chairman of both the UJA and of the United Israel Appeal, warned that “the renewed spurt” of aggressive Nasserism “bodes ill for Israel’s peaceful development, especially for the rehabilitation of 900,000 post-statehood refugees” who have come into Israel since it was established ten years ago. He pointed up the continued need to aid Israel’s rehabilitation and housing programs, especially in view of the fact that “an increasing portion of the young nation’s resources” must be diverted to security measures.

Emphasizing the role of American Jewry “in the human and material achievements” of Israel’s first ten years of Independence, Ira Gullden, national campaign chairman of the Israel Bond Organization, called for renewed dedication and support through the Israel bond drive as “a singularly effective means of applying concretely the principles which motivate our lives as Americans and as Jews, as people who believe in democracy with all our hearts and souls.”

A Rosh Hashanah message from Edward M. M. Warburg, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, stated that JDC’s greetings to American Jewry this year are expressed not only in the name of the organization but also “on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Jews overseas who are able to celebrate this New Year as a happy occasion because of the aid which American Jews have provided.” He added, however, that the greetings come also from “the other thousands who still need aid.”

Dr. William Haber, president of the American ORT Federation, stated that the aid provided in the past years by the American Jewish Community has helped many people in many lands “to face the future more hopefully.” He reminded American Jewry that the type of technical education ORT has been providing to Jews the world over for the last three-quarters of a century “has never been more necessary than now.”

Carlos L. Israels, president of United Hias Service, in a New Year’s message, urged that “In this time of rejoicing in our good fortune in living in freedom and in security, let us not forget those other Jews in Europe, North Africa, in the Middle East, and elsewhere, who face the new year with trepidation, and whose existence is shadowed by despair, hostility and terror.”

The president of the National Council of Jewish Women, Mrs. Moise S. Cahn, called on Americans, in a special New Year message, to show “a willingness to sacrifice for freedom and human welfare.”


Cautioning that “the rise of Nasserism” is an “ominous” threat to Israel, and expressing the hope that the New Year might bring the “precious gift of peace” to the world, Mrs. Rose L. Halprin, acting chairman of the Jewish Agency, extended greetings to “our brothers in the Moslem lands and behind the Iron Curtain, whose hopes for a return to the land of their fathers have not yet been realized.” “To those still living in the shadow of fear and persecution,” she said in her New Year message, “and to those denied a full expression of their Jewish identity, we pledge our continued efforts to keep the gates of Israel open to future immigration.”

Rabbi Irving Miller, chairman of the American Zionist Council, also expressed the hope that the year 5719 “bring about the fulfillment of mankind’s most cherished aspiration–a just and lasting peace for men everywhere.” More than ever, in the present crisis in the Milddle East, he stated, “friends of freedom and progress must stand by Israel and support her legitimate demands for security and economic aid.”

Dr. Emanuel Neumann, president of the Zionist Organization of America, declared that “despite the trials and unsolved problems of the past year, we all experience the great joy of proudly watching Israel continue to grow as a beacom of enlightenment in the Middle East.” American Zionists, he cautioned, will renew their “determination to stand by” the Israeli people and state in their “historic task of creating a free, democratic and culturally rich society, based on the ethical and spiritual concepts of Judaism.”

The world was called upon, in a New Year’s message from Dr. Miriam K. Freund, president of Hadassah, to make “a new beginning in the direction of total peace in the Middle East.”

Dr. Harris J. Levine, president of the Jewish National Fund of America, reminded the Jews of America that “there is still much to be done by way of wresting the land from the wilderness,” and “the sooner we complete the job, the better for Israel, the whole of the Middle East, and Western civilization as well.”

Special New Year messages, emphasizing the need for stabilization of peace in the Middle East, establishing Israel not only as a viable political state but also a spiritual state, and enhancing Israel’s spiritual values with an enriched cultural life, were issued by Chaya Surchin, president of Pioneer Women; Rabbi S. M. Zamborwsky and Samuel Drazin, national chairman and president, respectively, of the Mizrachi and Hapoei Hamizrachi Organization of Canada; the Farband Labor Zionist Order, and Rabbi Charles B. Lesser, religious director of the American Council for Judaism.


Rabbi Theodore L. Adams, president of the Synagogue Council of America, declared that the “central message” of the Jewish New Year was “man’s inescapable obligation and priceless right to choose the way of life and growth as against the way of decay and death.” Describing this message as “a clarion call of hope for a beleaguered humanity,” Rabbi Adams declared that “the duty to choose means man may not hide behind do-nothing claims of helplessness in the face of the awful powers which Twentieth-Century science has unleashed.”

Messages of other religious organizations included those of Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations; Bernath L. Jacobs, president of the United Synagogue of America; and Moses I. Feuerstein president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.

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