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American Women’s Ort Convention Opens in New York; Lauded by Kennedy

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The work of the American Ort was hailed by President John F. Kennedy in a greeting to the 17th annual convention of the Women’s American Ort organization which opened here tonight. The four-day convention is attended by some 1,000 delegates from across the nation. In his greeting, which was read to the convention delegates, President Kennedy declared:

“Your work is of major significance for the welfare and economic development of the international community. I wish you every success in your program of vocational training in India and apprenticeship training in Israel, in your expanded assistance project to North African refugees in France and in your continuing practical humanitarian effort to help the underprivileged and needy overseas.”

The opening session this evening was addressed by Senator Paul H. Douglas of Illinois who said that while the Jewish community has always had a proper concern for its own problems, it has “never been parochial.” He called the efforts of the Jewish community vital in the struggle to “make this a better country” and in doing so “demonstrating their Americanism as well as their Judaism”–aspects which are “not competitive” but “mutually reinforcing.”

Mrs. Max M. Rosenberg, national president of the Women’s Ort organization, told the delegates that the efforts of the group during the coming years would be focused to a great extent on the vocational needs of Jews in France and Israel although the organization would keep itself alert to needs in such far-flung places as India and Ethiopia.

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