NEW YORK (Jan. 7)
President Zalman Shazar of Israel has had a busy schedule since arriving here from Washington Friday afternoon. This morning he met with a delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and with a delegation from the American Zionist Federation headed by AZF president Rabbi Israel Miller. This afternoon Shazar will meet with Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik who is coming here from Boston, and with Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller. This evening he will meet with the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menahem M. Schneersohn at his home in Brooklyn.
Shazar’s schedule tomorrow includes meetings with a delegation from the United Jewish Appeal headed by Irving Bernstein, and with a delegation of rabbis and leaders from the Syrian Jewish community. Later in the day he will meet with Agudath Israel leader Rabbi Moshe Feinstein. On Tuesday, Shazar will meet with a group of Jewish journalists. Upon arrival here Friday afternoon Shazar met with New York Mayor John V. Lindsay and later had dinner with Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Yosef Tekoah and other leading members of Israel’s UN diplomatic delegation including New York Consul General David Rivlin.
Yesterday the 83-year-old President joined 400 worshipers for Sabbath service at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue. The freezing weather and icy winds did not seem to faze the Israeli leader as he and members of his entourage, including security guards and Consul General David Rivlin, walked briskly from his hotel to the synagogue a block away. At the synagogue, Shazar sat next to Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, spiritual leader of the congregation. During the service, Shazar was called upon to recite from Chapter 25 of the Book of Ezekiel.
Paying tribute to Shazar, Rabbi Rackman said in his sermon. “How appropriate it is… that the State of Israel’s symbol of unity today shall be a president whose achievements for four score years have been in the area of that religious-cultural heritage. Not a military hero, not a politician, not an industrialist, but a man of letters.” After the service, Shazar presided over the Kiddush.
LAUDS TRUMAN AS GREAT WORLD LEADER
Arriving in Washington Thursday afternoon to attend memorial services for the late President Harry S Truman on Friday Shazar emerged smiling from a privately chartered plane to receive a warm welcome from Ambassador and Mrs. Yitzhak Rabin, Assistant Secretary of State Joseph J. Sisco, and a host of Israeli and American officials and well wishers. Dr. Eliahu Eilat, Israel’s first Ambassador to the U.S., flew in with Shazar to accompany him and Rabin at the memorial service.
Shazar stepped down spryly into a balmy Washington twilight and extended a firm handshake to many of those who pressed forward to greet him. Among the Americans on hand were Rabbi Hillel Klavan, president of the Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington, Bernard Rosenberg, acting chairman of the Jewish Community Council, and co-chairman Bernard Kune. In a prepared statement handed to the press, Shazar likened the “fruitful development of Israel to a hymn of praise to Harry S Truman!” The statement declared “the Israel he recognized 25 years ago and aided in its first economic steps has developed in many ways and over all its extent down through the Negev and Eilat. the vital importance of which he so fully perceived.”
Truman was lauded as “even more than a great American President and a great world leader in a period of vast historic upheaval. He was a friend without whose decisive, far-reaching and understanding support the fate of the Jewish State then struggling to be born, might well have been very different.” Shazar’s statement concluded “We are a people with a long history and memory. In that history and memory President Truman has and will always have a unique and glorious place. We mourn him and remember him with reverence and infinite gratitude.”
At the memorial service Shazar was accorded a front row seat inside the cavernous, floodlit Washington Cathedral. At the conclusion of the service the top American and foreign dignitaries, including Soviet Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin, filed out behind a procession of choir boys. Shazar followed a short distance behind. Later he attended a reception at the State Department hosted by Secretary of State William P. Rogers and had a brief and informal meeting with President Nixon.