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Kennedy Links Spirit of Warsaw Ghetto and Rise of State of Israel

President Kennedy, in a message to the 2, 000 guests attending the Histadrut Third Seder last night at the Waldorf Astoria, stated that “it is perhaps the profoundest lesson of the Passover that each generation may also draw sustenance from the hope of freedom. The spirit of the people of the Warsaw Ghetto foreshadowed the reality of a democratic Israel. “

The Passover fete, sponsored by the Histadrut Council, marked the 20th anniversary of the uprising of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto and the 15th anniversary of the State of Israel. Louis Stulberg, general secretary-treasurer of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union, was toastmaster. Guest speakers were Under Secretary of Labor John F. Henning and Professor Cecil Roth, of Oxford.

In his message, President Kennedy said: “The ancient festival of freedom you celebrate coincides this year with the 20th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and the 15th anniversary of the foundation of the State of Israel.

“The concurrence of these anniversaries is a fortuitous reminder, if any need be given, that many generations have been called to taste, in their turn, the bitterness of loss of freedom. It is perhaps the profoundest lesson of the Passover, however, that each generation may also draw sustenance from the hope of freedom. The spirit of the people of the Warsaw Ghetto foreshadowed the reality of a democratic Israel.

“The future belongs to the free, not only because free societies have been able to assemble impressive material wealth and expand human knowledge but because the nature of man is set on a course toward ultimate liberties and realizations. Man’s destiny today is no different from that of those led out of Egypt; it is escape from bondage. It is the particular pride, and the particular obligation of American citizenship that we have a central role to play in this greatest of history’s dramas. “

Six memorial candles were lit in a ceremony dedicated to the 6, 000, 000 Jews who perished under Hitlerism. Samuel Bonchek, vice-president of the Farband Labor Zionist Order, delivered the eulogy. Dr. Sol Stein, executive director of the National Committee for Labor Israel, opened the festivities at the Waldorf-Astoria. The Third Seder, a modern addition to the Passover week functions, was inaugurated by the National Committee 31 years ago as a tribute to present-day pioneers in Israel.

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