Rosh Hashanah, ushering in the Jewish religious New Year 5687, was celebrated with solemn services by the New York Jewish community, representing almost one-third of the population of New York City, throughout the temples, synagogues, ad hoc congregations in hired halls, moving picture houses, stores and lofts converted into houses of worship. All these houses of worship were thronged with worshippers.
Thousands of shops, stores and offices were closed throughout the city and, according to advices, throughout the country, on the two days of Rosh Hashanah.
The observance of Rosh Hashanah also made an impression on the movements on the New York stock exchange. The sharp contraction of trading activities was attributed by Wall Street to the observance of the New Year.
The New York Council of Jewish Women arranged with the Radio Corporation of America to broadcast the services of Temple Emanu-El, where Dr. Nathan Krass officiated, from Aeolian Hall through station WJZ. Radios were installed in many rural communities for the special purpose of receiving the New Year services. The broadcasting will be repeated on Yom Kippur.
Furloughs for Jewish men in the army and navy were granted wherever possible, through the efforts of the Jewish Welfare Board. Special services for the army and navy were held at the Young Men’s Hebrew Association on 92nd Street.
The large New York industries, including the needle and fur industries, were at a standstill.
One hundred of the 160 couples who applied for marriage licenses at the Municipal Building on the first day of Rosh Hashanah were Italians who work in the garment trades and who took advantage of the holiday in their trade to get married, according to statements at the Bureau. The first day of Rosh Hashanah was the busiest Thursday the Marriage License Bureau in New York ever had, according to Deputy City Clerk McCormack.
The history of the Jew, his present position and his future and the problems confronting America and the world were discussed in scores of sermons. In some the Jew was urged to remain loyal in the observance of the ancient characteristic rites and customs of his religion. In Reform temples emphasis was laid on the essentials of the faith while the discontinuance of external forms and the adaptation to the needs of modern life was urged. In many pulpits pleas were made for strong support of Jewish philanthropic activities, the New York Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies, and the United Jewish Campaign.
The rebuilding of Palestine as the Jewish National Home was the subject of sermons in over four hundred synagogues in greater New York. Rabbis declared that the restoration of Palestine is the paramount duty facing Jews of America during the coming year in view of the plight of Eastern and Central European Jewry and the fact that Palestine is the only country now open to Jewish refugees from European countries.
Attention was called to the forthcoming campaign of the United Palestine Appeal, which will shortly launch a drive for $7,500,000, the largest amount ever sought in one year from the Jews of America for the upbuilding of Palestine.
In a New Year message issued to the members of the Hadassah, Mrs. Norviz L. Lindheim, president of the organization, said:
“A new year is being ushered into the world and a renewed opportunity is being given to us, the women of Hadassah. to perpetuate the traditions of Rosh Hashanah.
“Hadassah is entering upon a new phase of its existence. For fourteen years it has gone from strength to strength under the leadership of its organizer and president, Henrietta Szold. Under her direction it has grown from a small group to an organization of thirty thousand women and has increased its activities in Palestine from district nursing to a comprehensive program of health work which covers the length and the breadth of the land.
“Henrietta Szold has relinquished the active leadership of Hadassah. This year Hadassah faces the test of its true strength.
“New problems are facing us old ones are not yet solved. Hadassah must build hospitals in Palestine to house and to perpetuate the work which it has created. Hadassah must help to shoulder the heavy burdens which are oppressing our people in Palestine and to make possible, through the success of the United Palestine Appeal a year of achievement and health for our pioneers. Hadassah must enlist in its ranks more and more Jewish women, so that the ideals which have led to a Jewish renascence in Palestine may spread and interpenetrate into the life of America.”
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.