Impressive Memorial Services for Moshe Sharett Held in New York
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Impressive Memorial Services for Moshe Sharett Held in New York

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Over 1,000 leaders from all walks of Jewish life attended the memorial services (Sloshim) for the late Moshe Sharett held tonight at the Park Avenue Synagogue, under the Joint auspices of the American Zionist Council and the American Section of the Jewish Agency for Israel. The services marked the end of the traditional thirty-day mourning period.

Representing the Israel government at the tribute was Avraham Harman, Israel Ambassador to the United States. Other speakers were: Dr. Emanuel Neumann, chairman, Jewish Agency American Section; Nathaniel S. Rothenberg, chairman of the administrative committee of the American Zionist Council; Mrs. Rose L. Halprin, member of the Jewish Agency executive; and Jacob Katzman, general-secretary of Farband–Labor Zionist Order, speaking for the Labor Zionist movement in America. Conducting the services were Dr. Judah Nadich and Cantor David Putterman, of the Park Avenue Synagogue.

Ambassador Harman emphasized that “Moshe charett was one of the major architects of Israel’s freedom and, not less significant, the central moral guide in Israel in the utilization of that freedom. He was and remains for the youth of Israel the exemplar of what they should be — deeply rooted in love of country and people, active contributors in their own society and culture, but equally lovers of humanity as a whole.”

Dr. Neumann called Mr. Sharett “a prince in the House of Israel — a great figure in contemporary Israel — a man rich in his wide range of interests and the variety of gifts and talents with which he was endowed.” He stressed that, “the broad sweeps of Sharett’s Zionism reached out beyond the boundaries of the Homeland to embrace the Jews of the world. He did not belong to those who denigrated or wrote off Diaspora Jewry. He negated the negators. Indefatigable as he was in advocating and urging aliyah from all countries, he was also deeply concerned for the strengthening and enrichment of Jewish life wherever it struggles for existence.”

Mr. Rothenberg, who served as chairman of the memorial tribute, recalled Mr. Sharett as “a warm, charming and essentially modest man, absorbed by the philosophy rather than the panoply of Statehood, dedicated to the Zionist idea of Jewish survival, relating to his people not as an abstract concept, but as individuals. He was a man of the people, yet an aristocrat, ‘a pioneer, yet the possessor of style and grace,’ a dynamic leader, yet a kind and considerate friend.”

Mrs. Halprin recalled that her friendship with Moshe Sharett dated back to 1929, when she made her first trip to Palestine. For many years a colleague of Mr. Sharett on the Jewish Agency executive, Mrs. Halprin remembered him as an “urbane, charming, wonderful raconteur, a teacher with a natural-born instinct to transmit to others the intricacies of an involved problem, a leader of the Zionist movement during the years of the Arab riots, a diplomat who developed a first-rate diplomatic corps for Israel, a man of dignity and inner strength in moments of political adversity, a man of integrity and moral stature who brought whole-hearted dedication to the Zionist movement when it was at low tide, and a man who gallantly faced death during months of hopeless illness.”

Mr. Katzman described Mr. Sharett as a poet “who could not brook the dissonances of life, whether they were expressed in terms of international conflict, the suppressing of the national rights of a group, or of the degradation of individuals under the grinding forces of poverty, illiteracy, and exploitation. The abhorrence of these disharmonies in human existence, and the inherent desire of the poet to see a rhythmic flow in life, combined to make of him a Zionist-Socialist-Humanist. All three formed a single whole in his thinking and in the actions of his fruitful life.”


At a Chicago meeting held last Wednesday, at the Dr. Dolnick Center, the principal speaker was Jacob Barmore, Israel’s Consul-General for the Midwest. At a meeting in Los Angeles, last Thursday, the speakers at Temple Beth Am were the Israel Consul in Los Angeles, Benad Avital, and Rabbis Jacob Pressman and Isaiah Zeldin.

The San Francisco tribute was held Saturday morning, at Congregation Beth Sholom. It was addressed by Gideon Saguy, Israel Consul in San Francisco, and Rabbi Saul E. White. The Philadelphia meeting, held last night, was addressed by Yissakhar Ben Yaacov, Israel Consul to Philadelphia; former Judge Nochem S. Winnet, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Jewish Agencies; and Rabbi Elias Charry, chairman of the Philadelphia Zionist Council.

(In Israel, thousands gathered at the Beit Berl Amphitheater last night for a memorial meeting sponsored by the Mapai party to commemorate the end of the 30-day period Earlier a simple ceremony had been held in the Old Cemetery in Tel Aviv.)

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