Jewish Leaders Express Grief over the Death of Dayan
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Jewish Leaders Express Grief over the Death of Dayan

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American Jewish leaders expressed grief today over the death from heart attack of Moshe Dayan in Tel Aviv Friday and hailed him as one of the great figures of Israel and the Jewish people.

Herschel Blumberg, national chairman, and Irving Bernstein, executive vice president of the United Jewish Appeal, observed that “Few men in this century have served the Jewish people so conscientiously and so effectively. During his long and illustrious career, he made history. But even more than that, he contributed immeasurably to our growing pride in Israel, in the Jewish people and in ourselves.”

Jack Spitzer, president of B’nai B’rith International, said that in the passing of Dayan, “the Jewish people and the world sustained a profound loss.” He recalled that “Dayan was one of the first of a new generation of native Israelis to rise to leadership and was among the great military heroes of the century.”

Frieda Lewis, national president of Hadassah, said, “Dayan was a war here, a patriot, an archaeologist and — above all — one who understood and appreciated the people of the Middle East where he, himself, was born and raised. May those who take his place possess his understanding and real capacity for friendship with his Arab neighbors.”

Maynard Wishner, president of the American Jewish Committee, declared that “With the death of

Moshe Dayan, Israel loses a national hero, the U.S. a good friend and the world Jewish community one of its most striking personalities.”

Rabbi Joseph Sternstein, president of the American Zionist Federation, described Dayan as “A hero, a statesman, indeed a renaissance man rooted in the soil of Israel, one of the first great Israeli leaders born in Palestine.”

Sam Rothberg, general chairman of the Israel Bond Organization, paid tribute to Dayan for his role in the defense of Israel and in negotiating the peace treaty with Egypt. “His brilliant career as soldier, statesman and builder of peace reflects ever lasting glory on Israel and the Jewish people,” Rothberg said.

Abraham Foxman, associate national director of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, called Dayan “a modern Maccabee.” Moshe Day an was of the first generation of sabras whose destiny it was to be in the vanguard of the struggle to liberate the Jewish homeland after 2000 years of dispersion.”


Howard Squadron, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, declared that “in the hearts of his countrymen and of Jews everywhere, Moshe Dayan will live on as a soldier and statesman who served the cause of peace on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.”

Ivan Novick, president of the Zionist Organization of America, said that Dayan “represented the democratic independence of Israel’s leaders, while demonstrating the bases of solidarity among its people. We will long cherish his invaluable contribution to make Israel a reality.”

Albert Vorspan, vice president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, said that “All those committed to understanding and friendship between Israel and her neighbors, to which Moshe Dayan devoted his life, will grieve his passing.”

Henry Siegman, executive director of the American Jewish Congress, said that Dayan’s “contributions to the establishment of the State of Israel and to Israel’s search for peace with its Arab neighbors were extraordinary and unique. He earned for himself a lasting place of honor in the history and affections of the Jewish people.”

Rabbi William Berkowitz, president of the Jewish National Fund, observed that Dayan “served the cause of peace and reconciliation between Arab and Jew with the same fervor and the same commitment that he brought to the tasks of war.”

Phyllis Sutker, president of Pioneer Women/Na’amat, declared that “A staunch Labor Zionist, born on Israel’s oldest kibbutz, Moshe Dayan won a place in history by virtue of his bravery in battle and his contributions to peace.”

Donald Slaiman, president of the Jewish Labor Committee, said Dayan “was an architect of peace who carried the sword of war to achieve his dream of an Israel, living in tranquility with its Arab neighbors.”

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