NEW YORK (May. 6)
About 3000 people filled Lincoln Center’s Philharmonic Hall tonight for an Israel Independence Day gala marking the 25th anniversary of the Jewish State. Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Simcha Dinitz, was presented with a birthday cake decorated with 25 candles. Rabbi Israel Miller, president of the American Zionist Federation, read a message of greeting from President Nixon to Israel’s President Zalman Shazar.
Nixon expressed the hope that “The respect and admiration Americans feel for Israel’s many accomplishments will continue to enrich and strengthen the close ties between our two countries.” The message added: “As Israel celebrates this historic milestone, we join with you in renewed dedication to the great goal of an enduring peace.”
The event, sponsored by the 25th Anniversary Committee of the AZF, was attended by American stage, screen and television stars. The program also featured the Israeli pianist, David Bar Ilan, the tenor Mikhail Alexandrovich, a recent emigre to Israel from the Soviet Union, the Kibbutz Hammapil Quartet and the Hashachar Dance Group of Hadassah’s collegiate division.
Rabbi Miller affirmed the support of American Zionists for “Israel’s firm stand for a peace which will not leave it again vulnerable to attack by its Arab neighbors,” and vowed support for Jews in the Soviet Union “in their continued struggle for the right to emigrate to Israel.” Rabbi Miller also expressed support of the Jackson Amendment and the Mills-Vanik bill and lauded the efforts of Sen. Henry M. Jackson and Representatives Wilbur Mills and Charles A. Vanik for their successful bid to thwart most favored nation status to the Soviet Union pending a change in Russian emigration policy. Rabbi Miller also expressed his concern for the fate of Syrian and Iraqi Jewry, and affirmed the continued effort by affiliated Zionists to “assure the creative survival of American Jewry.”
Rabbi William Berkowitz, president of the New York Board of Rabbis, offered a prayer for the Jewish State. David Frost, the British entertainer served as master of ceremonies, and New York City Councilman Fred Richmond chaired the event.
ISRAEL WEEK IN NEW YORK STATE
In other Independence Day developments, Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller proclaimed May 7 Israel Independence Day in New York State and the week of May 6-12 “Israel Week.” He hailed “the establishment in the Holy Land of a bastion of freedom and democracy, serving as the spiritual homeland of members of the Jewish faith through out the world.”
“To Israel With Love” was the theme of a 25th anniversary childrens’ art exhibit sponsored by the New York Board of Jewish Education. A 60-foot mural, painted over a period of three months by children attending Jewish schools in New York, was unveiled today at the Board’s headquarters here. The mural is a gift to Israel. A three-day festival celebrating Israel’s 25th anniversary opened at the Brotherhood Synagogue here Friday night. Sabbath services yesterday honored Americans who fought in Israel’s war for independence in 1948.
The original Declaration of Independence establishing the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, went on display today at the headquarters of the America-Israel Foundation. It is part of a month long exhibit honoring Israel’s anniversary. The exhibit includes a photographic history of the Jewish State and official posters of each of Israel’s 25 Independence Days.
A special display of blooming desert plants to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day was installed in the first planting bed of Rockefeller Center’s Channel Gardens. The floral display includes thousands of roses, carnations, gladiola and other cut flowers flown in from Israel. The display was prepared by the NY Committee for Israel’s 25th Anniversary.