U.S. Jewry Starts New Year with Prayers for World Peace and Israel
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U.S. Jewry Starts New Year with Prayers for World Peace and Israel

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Jews throughout the United States and the rest of the world will usher in the New Year of 5727 tonight with prayers for world peace, Israeli security and improvement in the position of Russian Jewry.

Through arrangements by the National Jewish Welfare Board, Rosh Hashana will be conducted for Jewish men and women in uniform, in Viet Nam and at more than 600 other overseas and domestic installations of the United States armed forces. Similar services for armed forces personnel will also be conducted on Yom Kippur, which will begin at sundown on September 24.

Max M. Fisher, general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, issued a Rosh Hashana statement in which he pointed to UJA’s vast achievements in the past but underscored the fact that, in spite of those successes, “the year 5727 will be another period of grave and enormous need.” “More than 800,000 Jews,” he emphasized, “refugees in flight, immigrants en route to Israel, and the distressed and needy in 30 countries, will have nowhere to turn for aid except the UJA.” He expressed the confidence that, once again, American Jewry will help continue “the sacred work of redemption and rebuilding” financed through UJA’s nationwide campaign.

Lewis H. Weinstein, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, said in his statement: “At this period of appraisal, we must commit ourselves anew to the task of building a dynamic Jewish community, giving vigorous and inspired expression to the timeless ideals of our people. There must be a deepened sense of the vital and the affirmative in Jewish living. We cannot live defensively, using our energies only to meet crises. Rather, we must build on a positive basis an energetic Jewish life in America within the framework of an open society — and a vigorous Jewish life in freedom throughout the world.”


Dr. Dewey Stone, chairman of the United Israel Appeal, Inc., called upon American Jewry to make a supreme effort during the new year in helping the live-saving and life-rebuilding programs in Israel. “If American Jews will continue to work together in dedication and perseverance as they have supported the United Jewish Appeal for well over a quarter century,” he declared, “we can make it the kind of a year on which tens of thousands of immigrant families in Israel will look back and remember: ‘This was the year when things began to change; this was the year when we really began to strike roots.'”

A New Year message by Abraham Feinberg, president of the Israel Bond Organization, referred to Israel as “a force for progress” but noted that Israel still “has many tasks to perform to bring her social, political and economic life to its fullest realization.” “As the developments of the past year have so well indicated,” he declared, “Israel’s strength and diplomatic influence depend in great measure on the health and vigor of her economy. This is a sector in which our continued participation in the Israel Bond campaign in the New Year can have a truly decisive impact.”

Mrs. Rose L. Halprin, chairman of the Jewish Agency-American section, expressed the hope that the year 5727 “will bring peace to a troubled world, so that nations and peoples everywhere can devote their energies to the establishment of a free and better world.” Mrs. Halprin also voiced a hope that Israel continue to prosper, and declared that “we are sorely disturbed by the continuing cultural, religious and educational discrimination practiced by Soviet Russia against its Jewish minority.”


Soviet anti-Semitism and the resurgence of neo-Nazism in Germany and Austria were among the themes stressed in the Rosh Hashana message issued on behalf of the American Jewish Committee by the organization’s president, Morris J. Abram. He also voiced the hope that peace and security will come to the Middle East region, expressing encouragement “at the increase in the voices of moderation in the Arab world in their attitude toward Israel.”

A call for “keeping faith with Judaism” was issued on behalf of the American Jewish Congress by its president, Rabbi Arthur J. Lelyveld. “During the year and years ahead,” he pledged, “AJCongress will continue to bend every effort both to preserving the Jewish heritage and to applying it in the community. This is what we mean by creative Jewish survival.”

Samuel Bronfman, vice-president of the World Jewish Congress and chairman of the WJC’s North American executive committee, hailed the program “for what amounts to Jewish survival” adopted recently at the WJC’s plenary assembly in Brussels.

Rosh Hashana messages were also issued by Dr. William Haber, president of the American ORT Federation; Mrs. Mortimer Jacobson, national president of Hadassah; Jacques Torczyner, president of the Zionist Organization of America; Herman L. Weisman, president of the National Committee for Labor Israel; Samuel Bonchek, president of the Farband-Labor Zionist Order; Mrs. Joseph Willen, president of the National Council of Jewish Women; and leaders of many other Jewish organizations.

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