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Israel Chief Rabbi Greets Newly-elected Pope John Xxiii

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Israel circles welcomed today the election of Pope John XXIII and described the Pontiff as being friendly to the State of Israel.

The Pope, then Cardinal Roncalli, while Apostolic Delegate in Istanbul, Turkey, during World War II, met Dr. Itzhak Halevi Herzog, now Chief Rabbi of Israel, and “responded actively to an appeal to assist war-stricken Jews,” it was recalled today.

Dr. Herzog, in a cabled message of blessings to the Pontiff, recalled this today and said: “I trust your noble and faithful belief in the highest human values, revealed in your devotion during the days of the Nazi atrocities, will guide you in your new and important position.”

Saul Colbi, head of the Christian Communities Department of the Israel Ministry of Religions, described talks he had with the then Cardinal Roncalli two years ago when the Israel official visited Italy in connection with discussions on relations between the Vatican and the Jewish State.

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