NEW YORK (Sep. 6)
Jews throughout the world began at sundown tonight the observance of the Jewish New Year 5725 in prayerful hope for permanent peace everywhere, for the succor of their fellow-Jews in the Soviet Union and other countries of distress, and for Israel’s welfare in a convulsively hostile Arab world.
American Jews rededicated themselves to the protection and enlargement of the goals essential to the creative survival of the American Jewish community in a world of rapid change; These included support of local, national and overseas relief programs, expansion of Jewish education and widening of Jewish culture, including study of Hebrew, and the education of the young. The goals of American Jewry were reaffirmed in New Year messages from leaders of all American Jewish organizations.
The many thousands of American Jewish servicemen and women on duty at home and abroad in such distant places as South Vietnam, Guantanamo Bay and the Azores, and their dependents, observed the New Year with services conducted by 74 full-time and 250 part-time Jewish chaplains, provided through the National Jewish Welfare Board’s “Operation Rosh Hashanah.” Cooperating were local JWB Armed Forces and Veterans Services committees, Jewish community centers, synagogues and other local Jewish institutions. Religious supplies and kosher foods for the overseas installations were shipped by JWB to the remotest outposts.
ISRAEL UPPERMOST IN MESSAGES FROM U.J.A., J.D.C., AGENCY, BONDS
Joseph Meyerhoff, general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, said in a Rosh Hashanah message that the UJA would continue to pursue the goals of providing haven for more thousands of newcomers to Israel, aiding the thousands of earlier immigrants “to build a creative future, ” and bring vital aid to “uprooted or distressed Jews in 30 other countries.” He declared that “the dedicated response of American Jews to these continuing needs is affirmation of their devotion to the great philanthropic tradition of the Jewish people.”
Edward M.M. Warburg, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, noted: “Tens of thousands of Jews will celebrate Rosh Hashanah this year because JDC made it possible for them to do so. The million American Jews who support JDC through their annual contributions to the United Jewish Appeal–and the tens of thousands of Jews in Canada, England, France and other countries who also provide the funds and manpower to carry on this work–can take extra pride in the role they played and continue to play. ” He noted also that the new year marked the 50th anniversary of JDC.
Dewey D. Stone, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc., said that, as Jewry entered 5725, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. the major beneficiary of the UJA, “still faces many formidable immigration and rehabilitation problems” for Jews in distress, both in lands of oppression and in Israel. On their behalf, he appealed to American Jews “to rededicate themselves to this great humanitarian work.”
Mrs. Rose L. Halprin, chairman of the American Section of the Jewish Agency, cited the difficulties still suffered by Jews in the Soviet Union and Latin America, the threats to Israel posed by Arab boycott activities, and the work of West German scientists in Egypt on offensive weapons. These, she said, are problems for the solution of which “the overwhelming majority of the Jewish people in the free world will continue to lend every assistance to Israel.”
Abraham Feinberg, president of the Israel Bond Organization, predicted that, in the coming year, the role of American Jews in aiding Israel through Israel Bone’s would be “decisive in such vital projects as the opening of the new deep-water port at Ashdod, the fuller implementation of the national water system, and the establishment of many new towns with industries and homes for the rapid growth of the population through natural increase and immigration.”
RESPONSIBILITIES OF AMERICAN JEWRY EMPHASIZED; EXTREMISM CONDEMNED
Louis Stern, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, said in New Year greetings that Jewish communities in this country, as well as abroad, were seeking to re-examine what “are the proper and priority responsibilities of Jews in a changing
Murray I. Gurfein, president of United Hias Service, said that “the pressures which had driven millions of Jews to flee their native lands throughout the 80 years that United Hias Service has been in existence, unfortunately, are still prevalent today.”
Dr. William Haber, president of the American ORT Federation, recalled in his New Year’s message that “each year of this decade of the sixties has produced its quota of the displaced and the refugee. Such is the nature of the age that the New Year will just as surely send new thousands down the refugee road. They will need aid to sink new roots in Israel.”
A New Year appeal to all Jewish communities and organizations “to support in all possible ways the worldwide movement toward universal freedom from fear of war and to join with their fellow citizens in a common effort” to realize this ideal, “which for centuries has been of the substance of the Jewish heritage” was issued by Samuel Bronfman, vice-president of the World Jewish Congress.
Morris Abram, president of the American Jewish Committee, warned in a New Year message that “the democratic process is seriously threatened by extremists, right or left, who would destroy democracy in pursuit of its goals.” He pledged his organization “to continue its efforts to bring religious and cultural freedom” to co-religionists in the Soviet Union, Latin America and other areas of Jewish difficulty.
Dr. Joachim Prinz, president of the American Jewish Congress, declared that the New Year came at a “moment of great discovery for Jewish religious life” in the United States, the discovery that “Judaism must play an active role in society, that rabbis and congregations must not shrink from participating in the solution of racial inequality, poverty and other social ills which demean human dignity.”
COMMON AIMS OF ISRAELI AND AMERICAN JEWRY STRESSED IN STATEMENTS
Dr. Max Nussbaum, chairman, and Nathaniel S.Rothenberg, chairman of the Administrative Committee of the American Zionist Council, declared that “the very survival of our people depends upon the measure of initiative we will take in rallying the united forces of American Jewry for the primary aim of the preservation of the identity and unity of the Jewish community through an organized effort in the extension and development of Jewish education” to impart to the young generation of American Jews “the values of Judaism and its spiritual heritage, to spread the knowledge of the Hebrew language and Israel’s renascent Hebrew culture.”
Dr. Nussbaum, as president of the Zionist Organization of America, declared also that “the reunification of the American Jewish community through the establishment of a unified representative body, patterned after the former American Jewish Conference, has now become a matter of imperative need.”
Mrs. Mortimer Jacobson, president of Hadassah, offered a prayer that the New Year would witness the alleviation of the plight of Soviet Jewry and agreement by the Arabs to meet at the peace table with Israel. “In welcoming the Jewish New Year,” she said, “we in Hadassah rededicate ourselves once again to advancing the health and well-being of the people of Israel through our programs of healing, teaching and research, child rehabilitation and education, and vocational training. And we rededicate ourselves anew to the tasks of strengthening Jewish life in America, and to helping perpetuate the Jewish heritage and Jewish ideals among the Jewish youth of our country.”
Dr. Israel Goldstein and Mrs. Rose L. Halprin, co-chairmen of the World Confederation of General Zionists, told American Jewry that the problem facing Jews outside of Israel and those facing the Jews in Israel were so closely inter-related that solutions could not be sought for the problems of the former “without considering the problems of Israeli Jews.” “Nor,” they added, “can Israel concern itself with the problems of its own Jewry without an awareness of the problems of Jews elsewhere.”
PLEAS ON BEHALF OF SOVIET JEWRY ISSUED BY RELIGIOUS LEADERS
In addition to a New Year message, a High Holy Day proclamation on Soviet Jewry was issued by the Synagogue Council of America, the coordinating agency for the rabbinic and congregational agencies of Reform, Orthodox and Conservative Judaism. The proclamation, on behalf of the American Jewish religious community, publicly voiced “our protest and indignation over the denial of religious and cultural rights to 3,000,000 of our co-religionists in the Soviet Union, ” and proclaimed 5725 “as a year of concern for Soviet Jewry and of forthright and determined action to obtain equal rights and freedom for Soviet Jewry.”
New Year messages also were issued by Rabbi Max Schenk, president of the New York Board of Rabbis; Dr. Louis W. Jones, president of the National Conference of Christians and Jews; Dr. Samuel Belkin, president of Yeshiva University; Mrs. Joseph Willen, president of the National Council of Jewish Women; Mrs. Albert Fried, president of the National Women’s League of the United Synagogue of America; Rabbi Max J. Routtenberg, president of the Rabbinical Assembly of America; Rabbi Abraham B. Hecht, president of the
Rabbinical Alliance of America; Edward Sharf, president of B’nai Zion; Rabbi Mordecai Kirshblum, president of the Religious Zionists of America. Mrs. Eli Resnikoff, president of the Mizrachi Women’s Organization of America.
Also, Moses I. Feuer stein, president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America; the Lubavitcher Rebbe; Rabbi Leon I. Feuer, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis; Leon Kronitz, president of the Labor Zionist movement of Canada; Rabbi A.M. Hershberg, president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, and of the Federation of Orthodox Communities of Latin America; and others.