NEW YORK (Mar. 7)
Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey declared here tonight that “unquestioned, unqualified loyalty to this country is wholly consistent with strong spiritual and emotional ties to Israel.” Asserting that, “in diversity there can be unity,” he lauded the contributions of the Jews to the growth and welfare of the United States. “Jews, like people of all religions and all races, have made their special contribution to the America of yesterday and today,” he stated.
Mr. Humphrey was the principal speaker at a convocation, followed by a dinner celebrating the 20th anniversary of Yeshiva University. At the convocation, he was awarded Yeshiva’s honorary degree of doctor of humane letters. (See page 3).
Recalling that he was a retired teacher of a course on social ethics and the teachings of the Prophets, the Vice-President told his audience: “For many years, I have personally believed that the best we have been able to create in this country–the enduring aspects of our accomplishments–the noblest aspects of our aspirations–bears a striking kinship to the vision of the Prophets of ancient Israel. The American tradition and the Hebraic tradition have always agreed, not only on the possibility of building a society which men might call Great, but also on the social and ethnic foundations upon which such a society must rest. To a remarkable degree, that similarity, that common vision, can be traced to the teaching of the Prophets.”
The Vice-President enumerated various challenges faced today by the American Jewish community, emphasizing that those challenges are “fateful” to Jewish survival. One of these challenges, he said, is the question: “Can the American Jew continue to ‘assimilate’ without sacrifice of his faith and tradition or risking an atrophy of those qualities of heart and mind which were the genesis of the distinctive Jewish contribution to the American experience?”