NEW YORK (Dec. 19)
President Caner told a group of Hasidic rabbinical leaders in what was described as the first time any President had ever received such a delegation that Hasidic Jews were making a lasting contribution to urban centers to stabilize neighborhoods and communities a Hasidic spokesman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today The 25 minute meeting was held in the Oval Office in the White House on Monday.
Rabbi Hertz Frankel chairman of Ravtov, the National Committee to Aid New Immigrants was the source of the assertion that the Monday meeting was the first by any American President with such a delegation He also told the JTA that at the request of the President no reporters were present during the 25 minute meeting.
The participants included Rabbi Moses Teitelbaum the rebbe of the Satmar movement Rabbi Solomon Halberstam the rebbe of the Bobover movement and Rabbi Mordechai Hager the rebbe of the Vizitzer movement Frankel who was a member of the Hasidic delegation said that other Hasidic leaders at the session were Rabbi Sander Deutsch vice president of the Satmar United Talmudical Academy Rabbi Naftali Halberstom the Bobover rebbe’s son and president of the Yeshiva B’nai Zion of Bobov and Rabbi Ephraim Stein administrator of the United Talmudical Academy.
Frankel said the meeting was arranged through a cooperative effort of the White House and the Central Rabbinical Congress of America the Hasidic rabbinical organization.
SPECIAL PRAYER OFFERED
The meeting was opened by Teitelboum who thanked Carter for receiving the delegation A special prayer for heads of state was recited by Rabbi Solomon Halberstam in Hebrew and translated for the President by Stein The rabbis offered their prayers and support to Carter for the position he has taken in handling the Iranian crisis.
The Hasidic rabbis expressed their appreciation to Carter for his accomplishment in preventing further bloodshed in the Middle East and recited a blessing asking the Almighty to give the President added strength for his efforts for peace in the Middle East and throughout the world
The rabbis asked Carter to use his good offices to help preserve the Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe “the last remnants of once proud and vibrant communities.” The Bobover rebbe made a presentation in Yiddish which was translated for the President by Frankel calling on all Jews who have ancestors buried in those resting places to strive to have them preserved and said that it was important to declare all Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe as historic shrines and monuments for the great Jewish communities that had existed for many centuries before World War II.
The rabbis also told the President that they felt that he should try to ease the burdens of nonpublic education through new programs of aid from the recently established federal Department of Education They expressed to Carter and his Administration their appreciation for his interest and help to Soviet Jews to absorb them as emigres into the United States.
Curter said that he appreciated the contribution of the Hasidic communities their lifestyle their family life and educational system He said he was very pleased to receive the blessings of such prominent rabbis at this time of crisis from a people who have themselves suffered so much and understand the agency and suffering of others He promised to continue his efforts to achieve a lasting world peace and said in reference to the current Chanukah holiday that “we could use those miracles today,” Frankel reported.
The President was presented with a silver goblet as a gift from the Central Rabbinical Congress as a symbol for good luck in his arduous undertakings.