NEW YORK (Dec. 3)
Memorial services were held today for the late Dr. Abba Hillel Silver by the American Section of the Jewish Agency here with Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, and Dr. Emanuel Neumann, chairman of the American section, as the principal speakers. Moshe Sharett, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, who had been scheduled to speak, was delayed in London and sent a message which was read at the memorial meeting, Rabbi Mordecal Kirshblum, a member of the Jewish Agency executive, conducted religious services.
With representatives of all the Zionist groups in America in attendance, the late Zionist leader was hailed for his role in presenting the Zionist case before the United Nations and in developing public opinion for the creation of Israel.
Dr. Goldmann characterized Dr. Silver as one of the most courageous, powerful and effective leaders in the history of Zionism. “His great ability as an orator and a statesman enabled him to mobilize American Jewry in support of the Jewish State in a decisive way.” Dr. Goldmann said. “His belief in the Zionist idea and the Zionist movement was unparalleled. He was deeply convinced of the historical necessity of a strong Zionist movement even after the creation of the State of Israel. His concept and vision of the future of the Jewish State and of the Jewish people was states-manlike and prophetic, and was based on the loftiest values and ideals of Jewish history. His sudden death deprives the Jewish people of one of its top leaders.”
Mr. Sharett, speaking on behalf of himself and of his colleagues of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, said: “With the death of Dr. Silver, the most dynamic and powerful figure has disappeared from the world tribune of the Zionist movement. As an inspired leader and redoubtable fighter. Dr. Silver played for many years a central role in the evolution of American Zionism. In the crucial years of World War II, he was entrusted with the supreme command of American Zionist forces. By his stand in that capacity on the American political scene, and as spokesman of the Jewish Agency in the international arena, he made a decisive contribution to the attainment of the historical resolution of the United Nations General Assembly which opened for the Jewish people the portals of statehood in its own country.”
Dr. Neumann said: “Zionism was the great passion of Dr. Silver’s life. Dr. Silver, more than any other of his generation, brought to successful conclusion the task first set by Theodor Herzl–to secure international sanction for the re-establishment of a free and independent Jewish Commonwealth. The dazzling triumph won under his leadership,” said Dr. Neumann, “has earned for him the proud title of architect of the new Jewish State, crowning his life with the aura of immortality.
Among those present at the services were: Katriel Katz, Consul General of Israel; and representatives of the New York Board of Rabbis, Zionist Organization of America, Hadassah, Labor Zionist Organization, Mizrachi-Hapoel Hamizrachi, chdut Avodah, Progressive Zionists of America, United Zionists Revisionists of America, National United Jewish Appeal, United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York, and the State of Israel Bonds.