Gala Events Launch American Celebrations of Israel’s Anniversary

With a series of gala events ranging from the religious and cultural to the diplomatic and political, including the participation of high officials on various levels of government, the celebration of Israel’s forthcoming Independence Day, officially scheduled for Wednesday, was opened in this city and elsewhere in the United States today.

An integral part of the observance comprised statements issued by the United Jewish Appeal and the Israel Bond Organization, re-dedicating the efforts of the two organizations to the upbuilding of Israel and the provisions of aid for the absorption of Jewish immigrants in the economic and social life of Israel.

In a cable today to Izhak Ben-Zvi, President of Israel, Joseph Meyerhoff, general chairman of the UJA, congratulated the State of Israel on its 14th anniversary and pledged “solemnly to re-dedicate UJA’s efforts in supplying the means to assist the people of Israel in welcoming and integrating every newcomer.” He assured the President of Israel that “American Jewry salutes the heroic sacrifices made by the people of Israel” and stated: “On this joyous occasion, the American Jewish community solemnly pledges itself to re-dedicate its efforts in supplying the means through the United Jewish Appeal in fulfilling our humanitarian responsibility.”

Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, vice-president of the Israel Bond Organization, left by air today for Israel, to discuss with top Israeli Government leaders the major aspects of the development program for the Negev Desert, which is being financed with the aid of proceeds from the sale of State of Israel bonds. “Simultaneously with the observance of the 14th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel,” he stated, “the Israel Bond Organization is inaugurating an extensive campaign to mobilize investment capital for the purpose of reclaiming large stretches of the Negev wasteland and making it suitable for settlement and economic development.”

WEEK-LONG ‘FESTIVAL OF ISRAEL’; CEREMONY STATED AT CITY HALL

A week-long “Festival of Israel” in celebration of the anniversary was opened today at Sterling Forest Park, a botanical garden in suburban Tuxedo. On the program were daily programs of costumed folk dancing and folk singing by Zionist youth groups, lectures on and about modern Israel, photographic displays and exhibits of Israeli books, postage stamps and Israeli exports. The festival was officially inaugurated with an invocation by Rabbi Moshe Yaffe, executive director of the Chief Rabbinate at Jerusalem.

One of the featured events in connection with the anniversary celebration will be New York City’s official Israel Independence Day event, to be held in the New York City Council chamber Wednesday. Mayor Robert F. Wagner will officially proclaim the day as Israel Independence Day. Participants will include Rabbi Israel Mowshowitz, president of the New York Board of Rabbis; the Very Rev. Msgr. George A. Kelly, director of the Family Life Bureau of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York; and the Rev. Dan M. Potter, executive director of the Protestant Council of the City of New York.

Other celebrations scheduled are: A rally by the Bronx Division of the Mizrachi Women, tomorrow night; a New York Zionist Youth Council celebration at Farband Auditorium, Tuesday night; an official celebration at the auditorium of the Jewish Agency building, Wednesday night, to be conducted by the American Zionist Council; a reception for United Nations diplomats Wednesday; and a gala Israel Independence Day celebration and concert to be conducted Wednesday night in the auditorium of Hunter College by the Jewish National Fund of America.

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