NEW YORK (Dec. 2)
More than 1,500 guests, each paying $250 per plate, attended the annual dinner here tonight for the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, noted physicist who headed the wartime Manhattan Project that developed the A-bomb, was the principal speaker. He discussed the impact of modern scientific advances upon contemporary world statesmanship.
A feature of the evening’s proceedings, which took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, was the presentation on behalf of the President and Prime Minister of Israel of a unique sixth century mosaic map of the Biblical Holy Land to the executive council chairman of the Weizmann Institute, Meyer W. Weisgal. The citation lauded Mr. Weisgal’s “services to the Jewish State before and after its establishment, and his active role in the provision and creation of the means and facilities to further scientific advancement in Israel.”
Making the presentation, Ambassador Abba Eban of Israel traced the history of this valuable survival of Byzantine art which was discovered over 60 years ago in the early Christian Era church at Madaba. Ambassador Eban read the text in both Hebrew and English. The map, an eight-color work of art executed in stones one-hundreth of an inch in size, was made by a Jerusalem artist, Mordecai Bium, working from colored print reproductions and photographs. Because of its unique character, the Israel Museum of Antiquities in Jerusalem has requested it as “the only representation of the Madaba Map ever created.”
Presiding at the dinner was Arthur B. Krim, of New York, president of United Artists Corporation. Mr. Krim said that “the Weizmann Institute of Science symbolized two basic aspirations of our time; the fight for a free mind in a democratic way of life, and the hope that the revolution caused by the recent surge of science would be used to enrich life, and not destroy it.” The evening’s function was highlighted by the showing of a United Artists film portraying the conquest of Israel’s desert by science.