NEW YORK (Nov. 28)
Louis Lipsky, dean of American Zionist leaders, was presented tonight with the Herzl Gold Medallion, awarded annually by the Zionist Organization of America to an individual for the most outstanding service to the Zionist cause.
The medallion was presented to Mr. Lipsky by Dr. Emanual Neumann, ZOA honorary president, at the annual ZOA metropolitan dinner before 1,000 Zionists and Jewish communal leaders from the metropolitan and adjacent areas. The dinner was dedicated to Jacob Goodman, veteran Zionist and ZOA associate treasurer, who was presented with a plaque for outstanding services to Zionism and Israel for more than half a century. President Kennedy sent a message of tribute to Mr. Lipsky and Mr. Goodman “for their services to humanitarian causes.”
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, told the dinner guests that the Zionist movement in this country should “try to lead in the fight for a representative central organization of American Jewry” and that Zionists should “fight for a change of priorities in American Jewish life” to give “the top priority to education and cultural activities. ” He described as “nonsensical” the idea that the Zionist movement had “outlived its usefulness.”
Dr. Neumann, in his address, said that the current international crises over Cuba and the China-India conflict had “temporarily obscured the Middle East problems which remain unresolved. ” He warned of the possibility of a renewal of dangerous “political and diplomatic pressure against Israel in the present sessions of the United Nations from avowed enemies and possibly even from well-intentioned friends.”
Dr. Max Nussbaum, ZOA president, said that it was “incomprehensible” that for more than a decade the United States Department of State had “procrastinated” in taking action toward United States affiliation of the United Nations genocide convention. He emphasized the fact that 65 nations, including Soviet Russia, had already ratified this international agreement, aimed at preventing the recurrence of such a mass murder as the Nazi genocide against European Jewry.
In response to the tributes and the award, Mr. Lipsky, who will observe his 86th birthday tomorrow, stressed that American Zionism “fulfilled its first mission brilliantly when the State of Israel was born.” the expressed the Hope that “the friendship and support that Israel now needs should be given by American Zionists as an expression of their kinship with the whole of Israel. “
“It is indeed an honor to receive the medal bearing the name of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, who indelibly impressed himself on the succeeding generations and whose luminous personality will forever remain their inspiration,” Mr. Lipsky stated. “And I accept it with deep emotion, as the gracious token it is intended to be, of my part in building the movement that challenged history and brought Herzl’s dream of a Jewish State to life. I am grateful that I have lived to see that dream realized.”
Mr. Goodman, responding to the tributes paid to him by the speakers, reviewed the achievements and future goals of the Zionist movement. At the same time, he pointed out that “since the establishment of the State of Israel, Zionism, and its major instrumentality–the Zionist Organization of America –has been the target of downgrading on the part of certain misguided great personalities in Israel. ” He termed this attitude as “the height of ingratitude” emphasizing that “the record of the Zionist Organization of America speaks for itself. Every major achievement in Israel, although it may not carry a ZOA label, is the outgrowth of the blood, sweat and tears of true Zionists, ” he declared.
Mr. Goodman, who occupies high positions in various educational and communal organizations, further asserted with emphasis that “the State of Israel never had, and never can have more dependable friends then tried and true Zionists wherever they are. This is axiomatic and incontrovertible, ” he stressed.