TEL AVIV (Jul. 15)
Former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion called on American Jews last night to intensify their efforts for the survival of Israel and of Jewry abroad through a three-pronged program. He spelled out the program as one including deeper Hebrew education for the younger Jewish generation in the United States, deepening of “personal identity” with Israel, and strengthening the “unity of the Jewish nation.”
“Only through these three efforts,” he said, “shall we be able to survive both in Israel and in the Diaspora.” He was making his first public address since he resigned from the Premiership as the principal speaker at a dinner conducted here by the 66th annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America, honoring Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, of Cleveland, on the latter’s seventieth birthday.
DR. SILVER SAYS HE WILL FOLLOW THE DIVINE COMMAND LIKE ABRAHAM
Dr. Emanuel Neumann presided at the event. Other speakers included United States Ambassador Walwourth Barbour; Eliahu Elath, president of the Hebrew University; Joseph Saphir, Liberal member of the Knesset; Joseph Serlin, also a member of Parliament; and Rabbi Max Nussbaum, president of the ZOA. More than 800 delegates and guests, including leading Israelis, attended the gala event, which climaxed the ZOA convention.
Lauding Rabbi Silver’s work as a Zionist, Mr. Ben-Gurion told the assemblage that Dr.Silver, who is honorary president of the ZOA, began his Zionist career “not with the Basle Program, nor with the Balfour Declaration, nor with the United Nations resolution for partition of Palestine, but with God’s promise to Abraham: ‘To thy seed I shall give this land.”
Dr. Silver noted, in reply, that Abraham was in his seventies when he received the Divine command. “He was not told,” said Rabbi Silver, “exactly where to go but simply to ‘move on to the land which I shall show you.’ I suppose that is a good command to follow at any stage of one’s life — in trust and faith to keep on going, confident that the true way will be shown by Him Who is the Light of the World. And that is exactly what I intend to do.”
Earlier, Yosef Almogi, Minister of Housing and Development, told the ZOA delegates that the Israel Bond drive must be intensified in the United States, so that “we can drive out the desert in the Negev and drive in industry and housing there.” He called for further private investments in Israel.
Dr. Israel Goldstein, former president of the ZOA, now a resident of Israel and president of the Jewish National Fund, told the convention that, since the establishment of Israel 15 years ago, 1,150,000 Jews have come to Israel at a cost of $1,750,000,000. He said that 55 per cent of the costs of transportation and resettlement of these immigrants were covered by Jewish contributions from outside Israel, mostly in the United States.