NEW YORK (Jul. 7)
All major American Jewish organizations expressed grief today over the death of Moshe Sharett, who was beloved by all segments of American Jewry and who served as a strong link between Israel and the Jewish community in the United States. Messages of mourning were cabled by many Jewish groups in this country to the Jewish Agency in Israel, of which Mr. Sharett was the chairman. Statements were also issued by Jewish leaders here eulogizing Mr. Sharett and emphasizing his great services to Jewry.
The Jewish Agency offices here closed following the receiving of the news from Israel of Mr. Sharett’s death, and a memorial service was held in the Jewish Agency building. A memorial service to be attended by representatives of all major Jewish organizations will take place on Friday, the day of the funeral in Israel.
Dr. Emanuel Neumann, chairman of the Jewish Agency, American Section, said in a statement: “The death of Moshe Sharett is a shattering blow and heavy loss to the Jewish people, to world Zionism and the State of Israel. No one of the present generation of Jewish leaders has personified more completely or more nobly, highest Jewish aspirations for national rebirth in freedom and dignity, for social Justice, for cultural renaissance and spiritual renewal.
“As pioneer and student, as scholar and ideologist, as diplomat and stateman, he was the finest flower of modern Israel. His significance in contemporary Jewish history transcends by far his manifold, concrete achievements as Zionist leader and as outstanding architect of the Jewish State, playing a decisive role in shaping its domestic life and foreign policies. More especially, in recent years, he came to be recognized as the authentic voice of Israel and its moral conscience. He leaves a void which cannot be filled. He is irreplaceable. He will be mourned throughout the world wherever men cherish freedom, honor and integrity.”
Mrs. Rose L. Halprin, member of the Jewish Agency executive and co-chairman of the World Confederation of General Zionists, declared: “He was leader and teacher, holding fast to the principles in which he believed, inflexible in matters of integrity, yet understanding of differences of opinion and ready for adjustment when principles were not negated. He was a man of culture, for whom education in general and Jewish learning in particular, were not merely words to be uttered but deeds to be pursued. The place he occupied is now empty there is none to fill it.”
Dewey D. Stone, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc., and chairman of the United Israel Appeal, and Gottlieb Hammer, executive vice-chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc., declared in a statement: Moshe Sharett belonged to the whole of the Jewish people. No community was too small or too isolated for him to visit; no task too unimportant for him to undertake; no problem too small to enlist his attention and his though. Holding high position in the State after its establishment, he was a symbol in Israel and to Jews everywhere, of the moral standards which leadership imposes.”
Mrs. Mortimer Jacobson, national president of Hadassah, said: “Moshe Sharett devoted himself heart and soul to advancing the welfare and well-being of the Jewish people. He represented his country with distinction in the community of nations in his quest for peace with justice, and human dignity in freedom. He gave direction to our aspirations for Jewish survival. He was not only a statesman and a diplomat. He was a scholar and a teacher who was both honored for his accomplishments and beloved for himself. His passing has left a void in our hearts.”
Jacques Torczyner, president of the Zionist Organization of America, said: “Moshe Sharett’s dedication and his philosophy, his contributions to the furtherance of the Zionist movement, to the building of the State of Israel and the confidence he enjoyed among the people of Israel during his tenure as Prime Minister–these constitute a vivid symbol of his life-long achievements which will rank him in history alongside the great giants in our movement. His life and works will be inscribed in golden letters across the pages of Jewish history. His memory will be eternally enshrined in the hearts and minds of the Jewish people.”
The National Committee for Labor Israel, in a statement by Joseph Schlossberg, president; Rabbi Jacob J.J. Weinstein, chairman; and Sol Stein, executive director, declared: “He was a leading spirit of Histadrut. His passion for social justice and international understanding made modern Israel a light unto the nations. Moshe Sharett was a man of scholarship, wisdom and compassion, deeply dedicated to the labor movement of Israel which he served with unusual talents as pioneer, editor and orator. His name, meaning service, will endure forever in Jewis history.
COUNCIL OF JEWISH FEDERATIONS MOURNS LOSS OF SHARETT
Max. M. Fisher, general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, declared in a statement: “As chairman of the Jewish Agency, Mr. Sharett established close ties with the American Jewish community which provides the major portion of funds through the UJA, for the agency’s humanitarian work. With him untimely passing, the world has lost an effective champion of democracy, the Jewish people and the State of Israel have lost a great spokesman and statesman, and all of us in the UJA have lost a beloved friend and inspiring colleague.”
Louis Stern, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, declared in a statement: “The world and the Jewish people have lost a great citizen. He was a wise and skilled statesman, deeply committed to the peaceful cooperation of all peoples; an erudite scholar with a passion for learning and for the intellect; a gracious and kindly human being, whose company it was always a privilege to share. He ennobled Jewish history. We shall miss him.”
Abraham Feinberg, president of the Israel Bond Organization and Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, vice-president, paid tribute to Mr. Sharett as a distinguished world leader and “a warm and enlightened friend and teacher of American Jewry.” “No monument could rise to the height of his towering contribution to Jewish history,” they declared. They characterized Mr. Sharett as “an eloquent exponent and spokesman for the Zionist ideal, and a learned statesman skilled in the ways of world affairs and international diplomacy.”
Morris B. Abram, president of the American Jewish Committee, said: “The AJC, which cooperated closely with Mr. Sharett over a period of many years, especially during the crucial partition period at the United Nations, was privileged to witness in Mr. Sharett that high quality of effective states man ship which brought many of his ideals and hopes for Jewry to fulfillment. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, Mr. Sharett, as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and, in his last post, as head of the Jewish Agency, carried on that same practical vision and pioneering spirit which made the State a reality and contributed so greatly to its dynamic growth.”
Dr. William A. Wexler, president of B’nai B’rithm said: “The death of Moshe Sharett diminishes the Jewish community. He was the pioneer who revived an ancient homeland, the statesman who fought for his nation’s integrity, the intellectual with a scholar’s perception of the historic developments of his time and, perhaps above all, a leader guided by a compassionate understanding of man’s hopes and needs. The service of his people was the substance of his life, and he served with a dignity that exemplified his every deed.”
Dr. George S. Wise, president of Tel Aviv University, declared: “I am grieved beyond words at the loss of a beloved friend and mentor. Tel Aviv University is the consummation of one of Moshe Sharett’s great dreams. It was his guiding spirit, his dedication, his understanding of the need for it that made its existence possible. Tel Aviv University will work with renewed ardor to carry the institution forward along the path he set.”
Statements expressing grief over Sharett’s death were also issued by the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute, the Farband-Labor Zionist Order, the Pioneer Women and other Jewish groups.