MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 20)
Dr. Miriam K. Freund, national president of Hadassah, today called upon American Jewry to strengthen the Zionist movement in the United States not only as an instrument of assistance to Israel but as “a vital means” of perpetuating Jewish life and the Jewish heritage.
Dr. Freund spoke at the 44th national convention of Hadassah at the Hotel Fontainebleau here, which is being attended by 2,500 delegates and guests representing Hadassah’s 315,000 members throughout the United States, Alaska and Puerto Rico. The Hadassah president declared that “as there cannot be a truly Jewish life outside of Israel without an Israel, there cannot be a creative Israel without a truly Jewish life in the diaspora.”
Dr. Freund challenged the judgment of “many Israel leaders, who believe that Zionism has as its cardinal task aliyah–emigration to Israel.” She stated: “While we in Hadassah believe that aliyah is part of the Zionist movement, we do not agree with those who assert that Zionist ideology means that those who call themselves Zionists must give up the land of their birth and settle in Israel. We believe that it is one of the tasks of the Zionist movement to create conditions which will encourage many young people in their desire to live full creative Jewish lives in Israel, if they believe that such fulfillment is not possible for them outside of Israel.”
Discussing the recent bombing of houses of worship in various parts of the United States, Dr. Freund said that President Eisenhower’s “outspoken indignation” following the bombing of the synagogue in Atlanta, Ga., “gave voice to the conscience of the American people.” She called upon Hadassah’s membership “to rise up against the spread of hate and bigotry in the United States. We must fight it in the home, in the school in the community–wherever it exists.”
Mrs. Nathan D. Perlman, Hadassah’s national chairman for vocational education, declared that through its vocational training program, Hadassah has become an important factor in Israel’s Industrialization and absorption of new immigrants.
A special message to the convention was received from President Eisenhower, who commended Hadassah as a “continuing inspiration to all who seek to preserve and promote the humanitarian principles of democracy.”