NEW YORK (May. 24)
A dinner in honor of S.Y. Agnon, the Nobel Prize-winning Israeli writer, attended here by 1,000 guests last night, was dominated by the Middle East crisis. The event was sponsored by the Society of Founders, an honors group of the American Friends of the Hebrew University, which brought the Hebrew author to the United States.
A number of notables who had planned to come, including Ambassador Arthur J. Goldberg, chief U.S. delegate to the United Nations, and Israeli Ambassador Avraham Harman, were unable to appear, being busy with diplomatic developments around the Arab-Israel crisis. Mr. Goldberg’s greetings to the 78-year-old Laureate were presented by Mrs. Goldberg. Senator Jacob K. Javits told the guests that "this is a most portentious night. We do not know where this is going but the United States and other great powers are making a serious and critical evaluation of the whole area."
Mr. Agnon clearly enjoyed the occasion. He discussed in Hebrew, with some Yiddish interspersions, his ideas of America which he said were formed as a child in Eastern Europe. He expressed admiration for the American political system. Eliahu Elath, Hebrew University president and Hubert de Besche, Swedish Ambassador to the United States, who conveyed greetings of the King of Sweden, also spoke. The society’s gold medal was awarded to Allan D. Emil, campaign chairman of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies in New York.