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President Receives Aged Cantor Before Latter Leaves for Palestine

October 29, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

An unusual scene took place at noon today at the White House, when Cantor Seidel Rovner of New York, 71 years old, white bearded patriarch, “dean of all the Jewish Cantors.” was received by President Coolidge on the eve of his departure for Palestine, where he will complete his work of composing music for the Psalms.

It was Cantor Rovner’s wish, before he left the country in which he spent so many years, that he might have a few words with the President of the United States.

The aged cantor was accompanied by Congressman Nathan Perlman, Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein, Judge Milton Strasburger, Dr. Herman J. Friedman, Nathan T. Zalinsky, abraham Schoner, Jacob Rudd and Joseph Herman.

Cantor Rovner presented President Coolidge with a composition, written expressly for him, a prayer with the notes written in gold. Following the presentation the aged Cantor with tears streaming down his face chanted the prayer and blessed the President.

The first $1,000,000 of the $500,000,000 necessary to carry out th proposal of August Hecksche to raze the east side slums and replace the tenment houses with model homes, was pledged Wednesday night at a meeting at the Seward High School auditorium, Hester and Essex Streets, when Harry Schlacht, President of the Downtown Chamber of Commerce, announced that 500 members of his organization were ready to contribute $2,000 each as soon as they were called on.

Moyor Walker, Mr. Heckscher, Sophie Irene Loeh, who is associate with Mr. Hexkscher in his plan, and Robert Brodie, principal of the school, addressed the gathering.

Mr. Heckscher proposed a plan of amortization whereby the city would borrow one-half the total cost of razing and building up one block–$2,500,00–and furnish itself the remainder of the purchase price. The city. according to the philandthropist’s plan, would pay off a 5 per cent interest on a 50 per cent mortgage and own the property in thirtyseven years.

Advancing reasons why the city should he willing to undrtake such a project, Mr. Heckscher pointed out that any city planning “seened imposssible without reconstruciton of the slums” and that the city would be paid back in rent for its expenditures.

“I have already suggested that the wealthy men of New York should not let the city as a taxing power alone carry this burden as it is done elsewhere,” he said. “but that they with their abundant wealth, should contribute directly so as to encourage local government and quick action.”

Another plan proposed by Mr. Heckscher was outlined by him as follows:

“On the basis of the current year’s appraisals for land and buildings. let the city condemn wide areas, subject to gradual and successive improvement. In that way we can embrace all the slums and make a real start in carrying out the preseut scheme of city plauning by radiating with wider streets, less built over spaces, more light, sundhine and playgrounds from the slum areas of New York into the more fortunate quarters.

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