NEW YORK (Dec. 22)
All segments of the Jewish community here, together with representatives from all Zionist organizations, attended a public memorial tonight for the late Zionist leader Dr. Abba Hillel Silver held at Congregation Bnai Jeshurun. Principal eulogies were delivered by Moshe Sharett, former Prime Minister of Israel and now chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, and by Dr. Emanuel Neumann, chairman of the American Section of the Jewish Agency and honorary president of the Zionist Organization of America.
Warm tribute to Dr. Silver was paid by Israel’s Prime Minister Levi Eshkol in a cabled message sent to the gathering. The message was read by Ambassador Katriel Katz, Consul General of Israel in New York. Dr. Silver died on November 28 in Cleveland at the age of 70.
Mr. Sharett, in addressing the audience, asserted that with the death of Dr. Silver “the most dynamic and powerful figure has disappeared from the world tribune of the Zionist movement,” Pointing to the central role which Dr. Silver played for many years in the evolution of American Zionism, Mr. Sharett said; “In the crucial years of World War II, he was entrusted with the supreme command of American Jewish 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. His name will forever be enshrined in the annals of American Jewry, the State of Israel, and the Jewish people.”
Dr. Neumann, who was Dr. Silver’s closest associate throughout the years of the struggle for the establishment of the State of Israel, particularly during World War II, culminating with the adoption of the resolution on November 29, 1947, by the United Nations General Assembly for the establishment of a Jewish State, said: “Certainly it will be recorded that 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 has earned for him the proud title of architect of the new Jewish State, crowning his life with the aura of immortality.” He termed Dr. Silver’s death an irreparable loss.