NEW YORK (Nov. 16)
Dr. Theodor Herzl, the “father” of political Zionism, was probably the only intellectual of his time who had correctly appraised the plight of European Jewry 60 years ago. Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, American Zionist leader, declared here last night addressing the “Herzl Centennial Celebration” held at Carnegie Hall. The celebration, attended by more than 1,500 people, marked the climax of the three-day National Assembly of American Zionists.
“Dr. Herzl knew that anti-Semitism would not subside in Europe, that the Jewish people could not be assimilated, and that granting the Jews political equality would not reach the heart of the problem, nor would there be any solution in emigration from one country to another,” Rabbi Silver said. The solution that Dr. Herzl discovered, Rabbi Silver said, was the establishment of the Jewish State, legally recognized, in an organized immigration of the masses of Jewry with their consent to a territory which would be given them by a charter so that they could have self-government and be in control of their own destinies.
Dr. Silver also emphasized that Dr. Herzl imbued Jews with the spirit of self-reliance. This meant reliance “not on the philanthropists, not on the notables, not on the few, but on the whole of the Jewish people itself,” Rabbi Silver said. He pointed out that the Jewish people “had never put its knowledge of that lesson to better use than in its accomplishment of the task of building a state from scratch, setting up a new government and the orderly processes of life In the face of hostile neighbors bent upon belligerency by the boycott and blockade; in absorbing unselected immigrants from all parts of the globe and in maintaining an adequate economy with the most meager natural resources.”
Dr. Silver’s address was followed by a concert of contemporary classical and Hebrew music performed by a quartet of Israeli soloists and a series of readings from “The Diaries of Theodor Herzl” by Shakespearean actor Arnold Moss.