NEW YORK (Apr. 13)
Israel’s 13th anniversary of independence will be marked here next Thursday by ceremonies on the steps of New York’s City Hall when Mayor Robert F. Wagner will read an official proclamation on the occasion, it was announced today. Also participating in the ceremony will be Israel’s Consul General in New York, Dr. Binyamin Eliav, who will respond to the proclamation on behalf of the Israel Government.
A message from President John F. Kennedy will be read by Abe Stark, president of the City Council, who will also address the gathering. Greetings from Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion will be read by Dr. Eliav. Other participants in the ceremony will include Rabbi Harry Halpern, president of the New York Board of Rabbis, the Very Rev. Monsignor Timothy J. Flynn of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York and the a Rev. Dan M. Potter, executive director of the Protestant Council of the City of New York.
Israeli folk singer Yaffa Yarkoni will also take part in the event which will be attended by members of Israel’s United Nations delegations, city officials, leaders of the American Jewish community as well as hundreds of students of Jewish day schools throughout the New York area.
A highlight of the celebration will be an exchange of gifts between the State of Israel and the City of New York in which a Bar Mitzvah boy and girl from New York and a Bar Mitzvah boy and girl from Israel will take part to commemorate Israel’s “Bar Mitzvah Year.” A massing of flags will be carried out by New York City’s Fire Department color guard. Ushers will be provided by the Jewish War Veterans and the Municipal Lodge of the B’nai B’rith.
In his official proclamation marking Israel Independence Day, Mayor Wagner lauds Israel for her achievements in opening up “new vistas of hope and prosperity for the entire Middle East” and for her role as a “bulwark of democracy for the free world against expansion by aggressors.”