Jewish. Non-Jewish Leaders Assess Year Ending and Year Beginning

With Rosh Hashana just a few days away Jewish communal leaders and non-Jewish political figures reflected on objectives for the year ahead. Jacob Stein, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, observed that the "universal wish of all Jews to each other and to the world is the wish for peace."

Noting that the world has achieved a great wealth of technical and scientific knowledge that can be used either to destroy or to make the world a safer and healthier place for all, Stein stated: "It should be our resolve to apply the great historical experience of Judaism, the teachings of our prophets and rabbis so that the great power which we have developed can be used for the benefit of all mankind."

Raymond Epstein, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, stated that "we must fulfill our potential as Jews and as builders of each of our communities and of a more civilized society–that is surely the response that the shofer calls from each of us."

Reflecting on the past year enhances the hopes of the Jewish people everywhere for the days ahead, he said. "The unflagging courage of Soviet Jews, the resourcefulness of Israel’s burdened people and the proved ability of the North American Jewish community to meet our historic responsibilities, are the strongest indicators that the spirit of the Jewish people–our passion for social justice–pulse as intensely as ever, if not more so."

Lawrence A. Tisch, president of the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York, declared that "during the year 5734 we must direct our attention to our fellow Jews in the Soviet Union, in the satellite countries of Europe and in the Moslem lands where anti-Semitism and persecution of Jews are on the rise." He urged all-out support of the UJA’s campaign in this city for $150 million to support ongoing Jewish migration, welfare and rehabilitation programs overseas, with special emphasis on the economic absorption of Soviet Jewish immigrants in Israel.

FOCUS ON SOVIET, ARAB JEWS

Edward Ginsberg, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, said that the year now ending was one of achievement and shortcoming. "We look back with satisfaction because we were able to assist in one way or another close to 400,000 needy Jews overseas, and we look back with regret that insufficient finances prevented us from giving more help to more people."

Ushering in the new year, Ginsberg continued, the focus of "our thoughts will be on the tens of thousands of Russian Jews brought to Israel during the past year and the problems they still face. We think of the countless thousands still barred, not only in the Soviet Union but also in some of the Arab and Moslem countries." Ginsberg affirmed that "we will continue to do all in our power to bring help and hope to them until such time as they too can be rescued and brought to freedom."

Carl Glick, president of United Hias Service, stated that efforts must be renewed "to hear the pleas of our less fortunate brothers in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa who look to us for help." Noting that Soviet Jews are leaving in record numbers but that their ranks are small in comparison with the large numbers seeking exit, he said:

"We must continue our efforts to secure the right of emigration for every Soviet Jew who wishes to leave, to help him reach his chosen destination and to assist him in his integration." In other areas of the world where Jews are being harassed, restricted, tortured and prohibited from emigration, Glick said Hias will continue to be "alert and sensitive to their problems and be aware that emigration may be their best hope. We pledge our continued efforts on their behalf."

Lawrence B. Buttenwieser, president of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, urged that Jews pledge themselves "to the-continuity and strength of our Jewish community and our total community and reaffirm our commitment to peace and the well-being of all people." He announced that the Federation’s 130 agencies, serving 1.5 million New Yorkers annually, will mark the New Year. In addition to these agencies with religious facilities which customarily conduct services, such as hospitals and medical centers, many of the child care agencies, homes for the aged, community centers, and YM-YWHAs will provide special chapels for the observance of the High Holy Days.

Mayor John V. Lindsay noted that the year past was a joyous one in that Israel marked its 25th anniversary but that there is also sorrow in the fact that there are still many Jews throughout the world who cannot freely express or assemble in practice of their religious beliefs. In the New Year, he added, "Let us hope that we may move a little closer to those goals to which all men aspire–a world of peace, not war; a world of plenty, not poverty; a world of friendship, not hostility; a world of brotherhood, not alienation."

Robert L. Stanfield, leader of the opposition in the Canadian House of Commons, stated that Canadian Jews "have good reason for pride and satisfaction in their record of contribution to and participation in our nation’s development and growth, Celebration of the Jewish New Year affords all Canadians the opportunity to salute that record and embrace the qualities of justice, unity and freedom that have marked Jewish history for over five thousand years."

FREEDOM AND HUMAN RIGHTS A HIGH PRIORITY

Mrs. Henry N. Rapaport, president of the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism said that "our concern for all of our brethren in whatever land they dwell is uppermost in our minds as we approach the New Year 5734. The struggle for freedom and human rights, which has suffered setbacks this past year in some parts of the world, should equally continue to rank high in our priorities as we pray for a peaceful world."

Mrs. Eleanor Marvin, president of the National Council of Jewish Women, stated that "while we are concerned with the quality of life in America, we are no less mindful of Jewish brethren in Russia, in Syria and in Iraq. And when we speak of rights, we must think of Israel and its very right to exist."

Defense Minister Moshe Dayan said he planned to ask the Cabinet to arrange higher wages to Arab worker’s employed by the government in Israeli firms in the administered areas, since their wages are not linked to the cost of living index. He spoke to reporters while visiting Gaza’s port.

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