Jewish Leaders Mourn Shazar
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Jewish Leaders Mourn Shazar

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American Jewish leaders, mourning the death of former President Zalman Shazar of Israel, recalled in statements today his scholarship, humanitarianism and dedication to Zionist ideals.

Rabbi Israel Miller, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, observed that President Shazar’s “commitment to Jewish scholarship and tradition., coupled with his social and humanitarian sensitivities, made him a creative force in the unification of Israel’s diverse population and in creating bonds between Israel and the Jewish communities throughout the world.”

His ties with American Jews were strengthened both by his frequent visits to our shores and by the warmth and grace of his hospitality in his official residence in Jerusalem,” Rabbi Miller said. “A great scholar-statesman, he was one of the last of the generation of Israel’s pioneer fighters who helped bring the State into being and who guided its destinies with skill and effectiveness. He has left an indelible mark upon the hearts and minds of his countrymen, of Jews throughout the world and of people of spirit everywhere.”


Rabbi Miller, who is also president of the American Zionist Federation, said that President Shazar “was one of the foremost Zionist proponents throughout his career and had accepted the first honorary membership in the AZF,” He termed him “an eloquent spokesman for Zionist ideals and values, both in his gifted writings and in his lofty speeches.” Rabbi Miller said that President Shazar “recognized that Zionism was a people’s movement, and throughout his brilliant career he maintained his contact with the people in Israel and throughout the world.”

Dr.Judah J. Shapiro, president of the Labor Zionist Alliance, said President Shazar “was a leading intellectual light of contemporary Labor Zionism. He combined the traditional roots of Judaism with the modern social view of man’s potential. He was the inspiration and mentor of generations of Labor Zionists. In the role of President, he gave the State of Israel Its Jewish identity and its progressive concern for all people.”

David M. Blumberg, international president of B’nal B’rith, in a cable to President Ephraim Katzir, stated: “We mourn with the people of Israel and Jews everywhere on the passing of a distinguished leader of our times whose scholarship, love of the Jewish tradition, and faith in the Jewish future distinguished him always.”


Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, of New York’s Fifth Avenue Synagogue, said President Shazar was one of the greatest Jews not only of this generation but of many generations. He said his writings will some day be recognized as great a contribution as his work for the State of Israel. Rabbi Rackman announced that a memorial service for President Shazar by the Israeli Consulate and the American Section of the World Zionist Organization will be held Oct. 13. 11 a.m., at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue.

Ambassador David Rivlin. Israel’s Consul General in New York, said President Shazar’s greatest contribution was providing Israel with an element of faith. “He has taught us deep, profound. unshakable and unbreakable faith,” Rivlin said.

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