WASHINGTON (Jan. 30)
President Nixon received Friday a specially bound set of the sixteen-volume Encyclopedia Judaica just completed in Israel and declared that it will be kept permanently in the White House. The volumes, bound in leather and embossed in gold, were presented to Nixon by Israeli Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin in a moving 15-minute meeting in the Oval Room marked by an atmosphere of warm friendship among the representatives of the two countries.
Presenting the set in the name of Israel’s President Zalman Shazar, Rabin handed the first volume to Nixon which bears the following inscription from the Israeli leader: “To a dear friend, his excellency Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States, in appreciation of his friendship to the people of the book whose story and culture are concentrated in these volumes.”
Pointing to the Jewish “contributions to a civilization which lives by the doctrine of human liberty, the ethic of man’s equality: the ideal of peace, and the principle of democratic government” Rabin said America and Israel have a common heritage. He lauded the US which, he said, under Nixon’s leadership “strives so magnificently to strengthen those whose freedoms are threatened.” Nixon declared he will look at the encyclopedia as a part of American history because the Jewish people have contributed so much to America.
Also attending the presentation were Herbert Stein, chairman of the President’s Board of Economic Advisers, Max Fisher of Detroit, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, Chaim Herzog, chairman of the board of Keter Publishing Company in Jerusalem, which prepared the encyclopedia, and Jeremiah Caplan, president of Macmillan Co., Inc. of New York, which will distribute the encyclopedia in the US.
Herzog-who is an Israeli Army Reserve General and a noted military analyst, explained that of the approximately 2,500 scholars who prepared the encyclopedia, about 60 percent are Israelis, 30 percent American Jews and 10 percent from other countries. He also told Nixon that a loan from the US government helped in the $1.800 million project.