NEW YORK (Dec. 1)
A program of greatly expanded cultural activity between the American Jewish community and Israel began tonight with the announcement that $1,250,000 had been raised to initiate the newly established Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz Fund for Leadership Training at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The announcement was made at a dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel where the Scopus Award–the highest honor given by the American Friends of the Hebrew University–was conferred on Dr. Schwartz, executive vice-president of the Israel Bond Organization.
The $1,250,000 figure exceeded by 25 percent the results anticipated when the idea of the Fund was first projected. Approximately 1,000 community leaders, many of them from distant cities across the country, attended the nationally sponsored dinner to Dr. Schwartz who has for more than 30 years been a key figure in the American Jewish community.
In response to the presentation of the Scopus Award, which was made by Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Avraham Harman, Dr. Schwartz spoke of “the urgent need for strengthening Jewish values to stem the tide of assimilation in a world which is hopefully shaking off the poison of anti-Semitism.”
U.S. JEWISH YOUTHS URGED TO SPEND A YEAR AT HEBREW UNIVERSITY
Dr. Schwartz posed these questions: “What will happen to the Jewish people if a release from persecution is translated into a release from all practice and identity with Judaism? What positive formula of education can be devised to replace the negative stimulus of oppression? What force other than Israel can be brought into play to stop many Jewish intellectuals in the United States and other parts of the world from drifting away from the mainstream of Jewish communal and cultural association?” An answer to those questions, he asserted, would be provided “if thousands of our young people spent a year or more at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.”
Dr. Abram L. Sachar, president of Brandeis University, outlined the history of the Hebrew University which this year celebrates its 40th academic year. He cited the growth of the Hebrew University, which this year has over 10,000 students on its five campuses and a faculty of 1,200.
Ambassador Harman represented Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, whose visit to the United States has been prevented by illness. Other Israel Government representatives included Ambassador Michael Comay, Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations, and Ambassador Katriel Katz, Consul General. The program was opened by Professor Milton Handler, chairman of the executive committee of the American Friends of the Hebrew University, who presided.
Messages of tribute to Dr. Schwartz were received from Israel’s President Zalman Shazar, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and Hebrew University President Eliahu Elath. A message of tribute was also received from Samuel Rothberg of Peoria, Ill., chairman of the Board of the American Friends of the Hebrew University who was unable to attend the dinner because of illness.
Lionel R. Bauman, president of the American Friends of the Hebrew University, said that “as one member of the generation which witnessed a barbarous attempt to liquidate our people and almost overnight a heroic, miraculous resurgence, I gratefully acknowledge the leadership and dedication of Dr. Schwartz who throughout these turbulent years was always the right man in the right place at the right time.”