President Shazar Memorialized
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President Shazar Memorialized

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Some 300 persons came to the Fifth Avenue Synagogue yesterday to honor the memory of Shneur Zalman Shazar, Israel’s third President and hear him lauded as a statesman, scholar, poet, ideologist and, above all, a humanitarian deeply devoted to the cause of the Jewish people. The memorial service for President Shazar, who died Oct. 5, a day before his 85th birthday, was sponsored jointly by the Israeli Consulate General in New York and the World Zionist Organization-American Section.

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban said President Shazar was guided by four movements–hasidism, messianism, socialism and Zionism. He said as President, Shazar symbolized Jewish unity. He noted that while he was a fighter and a dreamer, as President he was a realist who had no illusions after 1967 that Israel could have peace without concessions or that a great victory would mean an easy peace.

Mrs. Charlotte Jacobson, chairman of the WZO-American Section, said President Shazar “loved people and especially the Jewish people,” She said he had an “unbounded faith” in the Jewish people, and generations of Zionist leaders had been stimulated by his example. Above all he was a great moral teacher, she declared. Dr. Judah Shapiro, president of the Labor Zionist Alliance, said President Shazar knew from his youngest days that to be a Jewish leader one had to be steeped in Jewish learning, culture and background. Noting that President Shazar was a prolific writer. Dr. Shapiro said the late President’s greatest contribution is the body of literature he left behind


Ambassador David Rivlin, Israeli Consul General in New York, who conducted the ceremony, memorialized President Shazar in Hebrew. Several poems by President Shazar in Hebrew were read, and Rabbi Emanuel Rackman of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue noted that all that the late President did, he did as a poet.

Meanwhile, Paul Zuckerman, general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, in a message from Tel Aviv in conjunction with the service, said that President Shazar’s “leadership was a source of great inspiration to the Jewish people for almost seven decades….But let it be said, when history is written, that President Shazar’s contribution to the survival of the Jewish people was an eloquent statement of his own love for his fellow man.” Zuckerman is in Israel leading UJA’s Annual Study Conference.

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