NEW YORK (Sep. 26)
Jews throughout the world will start the New Year of 5726 tonight with prayers for world peace, security of Israel and the granting of equal cultural and religious rights to Soviet Jewry. Rosh Hashanah services had been arranged by the National Jewish Welfare Board in all U.S. military installations in this country and overseas, including Viet Nam.
Louis Stern, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, issued a statement calling upon all Jewish communities in this country to rededicate themselves “to creative action, adding a vitality ever new to our lives and to our communities.”
“Today and through a thousand tomorrows, with probing honesty and clarity, the organized Jewish community must re-examine who we are, what we do and what we want to be. We must survey not only how well we are doing, but also why we are doing what we do,” Mr. Stern said.
“In recent years, a period of vast economic, social and scientific development has made the idea of change the most significant characteristic in American life. American Jewry, too, is experiencing fundamental changes.
“American Jewry is hardly ‘vanishing'; in most respects it flourishes. Jews in this country have a pluralistic copportunity — integrated as part of the total American environment while attaining greater cultural, religious, educational and communal fulfillment. In our relatively open society, the purposes and priorities of Jewish institutions must be continually reviewed to come to terms with change in all places and at all levels, public and private.”
Dr. Dewey D. Stone, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc., pointed out in his Rosh Hashanah greeting to the Jews in this country that, during the past year, tens of thousands of new immigrants have been added to the more than 1, 200, 000 who have reached the shores of Israel since the establishment of the State. “To them, as to earlier newcomers, American Jewry — through the United Jewish Appeal — has extended invaluable assistance,” he said.
“In the past year,” he continued, “we have been fortunate in being spared the headlines telling of emergencies and cruel suffering among Jewish communities overseas. Yet our task has been no less crucial and no less urgent. The rescue of Jewish life is a sacred obligation; but the work of rebuilding, not only individual lives but through these lives young struggling communities from the hills of Galilee to the shores of the Red Sea, is a challenge no less sacred and no less worthy of our utmost efforts,” he stressed.
U.J.A. GENERAL CHAIRMAN REVIEWS ACHIEVEMENTS OF PAST YEAR
Max M. Fisher, General Chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, declared in his statement that “thanks to the benevolence of our Jewish community, we have been able to inscribe nearly three-quarters of a million needy and distressed Jewish men, women and children in the Book of Life.
“In the course of the old year 5725 we have brought thousands of them to a new life of dignity and security in Israel, and have given thousands of others the opportunity to share the fruits of freedom in our own country and other democratic lands. In other areas of distress we have brought sustenance, medical care, education to children and other humanitarian aid. Because of our acts of loving kindness Jews in every state of need can look forward to the New Year 5726 with unbounded hope,” Mr. Fisher stated.
Edward M.M. Warburg, national chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, and Charles H. Jordan, JDC Director General, issued statements emphasizing that the need for aid from American Jewry is still great in Jewish communities overseas. Mr. Warburg urged American Jewry that in meeting the New Year they should not forget that there are still Jews in numerous countries who require assistance and who seek new homes for themselves. Mr. Jordan stressed that “what will happen to those Jews in the year to come depends entirely on the Jews in the affluent and secure parts of the world.” He pointed out that “a difficult year of the Jews of the world is a difficult year, full of work and woes and problems, for the Joint Distribution Committee.”
Abraham Feinberg, president of the Israel Bond Organization, reviewed in his Rosh Hashanah message the accomplishments in the development of Israel during the past year, reached partly with funds secured through the sale of Israel bonds in this country. He called for strong participation in the Israel Bond effort during the High Holy Days.
Among the leaders of human relations agencies in the Jewish field who issued New Year greetings were Morris B. Abram, president, and Dr. John Slawson, executive vice-president, of the American Jewish Committee; Rabbi Joachim Prinz, president of the American Jewish Congress; and Dr. William Wexler, B’nai B’rith president. In the areas of migration and rehabilitation, High Holy Day messages were voiced by, among others, Murray I. Gurfein, president of United Hias Service, and Dr. William Haber, president of the American ORT Federation.
DR. NEUMANN GREETS U. S. JEWRY ON BEHALF OF ZIONIST MOVEMENT
Dr. Emanuel Neumann, chairman of the Jewish Agency – American Section, greeted the Jewish community on behalf of the Zionist movement. Greetings were also issued by Jacques Torczyner, president of the Zionist Organization of America; Mrs. Mortimer Jacobson, national president of Hadassah, and the following other Zionist organizational heads: Max Bressler, president, Jewish National Fund of America; Dr. Max Nussbaum and Nathaniel S. Rothenberg, of the American Zionist Council; Dr. Israel Goldstein and Mrs. Rose Halprin, co-chairmen of the World Confederation of General Zionists; Mrs. Rose Kaufman, national president, Pioneer Women; and Joseph Schlossberg, president, National Committee for Labor Israel.
Rabbi Seymour J. Cohen, of Chicago, greeted the Jewish community on behalf of the Synagogue Council of America, which he heads as president of the overall lay and rabbinical organization of Orthodox, Reform and Conservative Judaism in this country. Separate messages were issued by Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath, president, Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Reform); Moses I. Feuerstein, president, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America; Rabbi Jacob K. Shankman, president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism; Jacob J. Weinstein, president, Central Conference of American Rabbis; and Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe.