CHICAGO (Oct. 13)
The B’nai B’rith today started the nationwide observance of its 120th anniversary year with a dinner here honoring Ambassador Philip M, Klutzribk, a former member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations and a past president of the B’nai B’rith. The dinner featured a major civil rights address by Attorney General Rober J F. Kennedy.
The Attorney General outlined civil rights goals and commended Mr. Klutznick and B’nai B’rith for their roles in the advancement of national human rights objectives.
President John F. Kennedy, in a message to the dinner, paid tribute to B’nai B’rith as “a constructive force in the life of our nation, ” President Kennedy said that “although B’nai B’rith is the oldest voluntary service Organization founded in our nation, its appeal to the social conscience of peoples everywhere remains fresh and new, ” The President paid high tribute to Mr. Klutzhick, stating that “it is particularly appropriate that he be honored on this occasion, for he exemplifies the leadership that has projected B’nai B’rith to its present position as an outstanding service organization.”
Enumerating the B’nai B’rith’s achievements, President Kennedy said; “It organized the first disaster relief campaign; it encouraged major medical advances in the hospitals it sponsored; it pioneered innovations in philanthropy and social service; it’s wartime service goes back to the Civil War; it has improved the educational opportunities of our youth; it has developed programs to broaden human rights and defend civil liberties.”
B’nai B’rith president Label Katz, presented Mr. Klutzrick with the first award of the anniversary year for personifying “the purpose and ideals of B’nai B’rith in the lasting contributions he has made to Jewish life and to the American society, ” He commended Mr. Klutznick for having contributed vision and dyramism to B’nai B’rith.
KLUTZNICK VISUALIZES A MEANINGFUL JEWISH LIFE IN UNITED STATES
Mr. Klutznick said that now that B’nai B’rith has attained 120 years, the traditional life-span of Moses, the order must hot only, like Moses, look into the Promised Land, but actually enter it. ” Stressing that B’nai B’rith has not completed its work but only begun, Mr. Klutznick said: “The Promised Land we envisage is a concept of a meaningful Jewish life perpetuated despite new challenges.”
Citing the developing Negro revolution, Mr. Klutznick said “Jewish education must keep the torch of learning lighted with sufficient brilliance for the Jew to see his personal obligation. ” He said the Jew was entering “the Promised Land of material well-being but the B’nai B’rith old values of uniting Jews in the highest interest of humanity must not be submerged or lost in materialism or automated conformity.”
Mr. Klutznick said that “during the first 120 years of B’nai B’rith, the Jewish community, partly because of B’nai B’rith’s role, is better organized, more unified, strengthened in its security and awakened to its communal responsibilities. Now we must think of educating, perpetuating, and inspiring our people to bring the old values into the new life, of continuity from the exodus of Moses to the present marches for freedom.”
Other speakers included Governor Otto Kerner of Illinois and Abraham Feinberg, national chairman of Israel Bonds. Some 1,500 persons attended the dinner, including a distinguished group of 120 Anniversary Founders, who are supporting a special fund far Jewish educational purposes; coinciding with the anniversary.
(In New York, Mayor Robert F. Wagner today proclaimed this week as “B’nai B’rith Week” in New York City inobservance of the 120th anniversary of the establishment of the organization. The proclamation was read at an all-day conference of the B’nai B’rith Metropolitan Council marking the event The conference, attended by 1,500 guests, was addressed by Edward E. Grusd of Washington, D.C., editor of the B’nai B’rith National Jewish Monthly. It also included panel discussions on adult Jewish education, the work of the Anti-Defamation League and the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization)