The restrictive immigration bill, passed on the eve of Passover, was the subject of many sermons preached by the Rabbis at the Passover services. It was generally expressed by the Rabbis that the passage of this bill marks an epoch in American Jewish life, and constitutes a denial and a reversal of the long cherished American ideals and traditions, as well as an affront to the memory of the founders of the Republic. Particularly impressive was the sermon of Dr. D. DeSola Pool, of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue Shearith Israel, Central Park West, who stated:
“One of the messages of the Passover is the call away from race hatreds and from prejudices against the stranger. The whole history of the Passover puts into the strongest contrast the teachings of Egypt and the teachings of Judaism about the treatment of the alien. The opening chapters of Exodus give us the earliest examples of anti-alien legislation on record. They are summed up in Paraoh’s policy, ‘Come, let us contrive craftily against them.’ Over against this policy we set that of Moses, ‘An alien thou shalt not oppress, for ye know the heart of the alien, seeing that ye were aliens in the land of Egypt.’
“While the measures which Pharaoh took were barbarous, the spirit of the Egypt of his day is not dead.”
Dr. Samuel Schulman, Rabbi of Temple Beth-El, Fifth Avenue, said:
“We have recently heard it said with joyous boasting that America will no longer be the asylum for the oppressed. To my mind this means a radical change in the spirit of the land.
“It is a change which implies a breakdown of true religion. Therefore, on a morning like this, we should frankly face the facts and realize the danger that confronts the American people.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.