Governor Smith and Colonel Lehman Principal Speakers (Jewish Daily Bulletin)
The adoption of resolutions urging that final payments be made on the pledges toward the United Jewish Campaign quota for the State of New York and the presentation of a check for $25,000 were the result of the emergency conference to stimulate payment of pledges held here Sunday at the Ten Eyck Hotel under the chairmanship of Bernard B. Given of Syracuse, New York State Chairman.
Governor Alfred E. Smith welcomed the conference to the capital and Col. Herbert H. Lehman, Lieutenant-Governor-elect, spoke on the work of the Joint Distribution Committee and the necessity of supplying the Committee with funds so that it can meet its committments. Resolutions of appreciation were adopted to National Chairman David A. Brown, to Bernard B. Given, State Chairman, and to Col. Lehman.
The delegates presented checks aggregating $32,000 from their respective communities.
Governor Smith in his address declared: “I am familiar through my talks with Colonel Lehman, of your particular organization and what you have been doing since the war. I very heartily congratulate you on it, and I assure you that there is no duty that the Governor has to perform that is any more pleasing than to lend encouragement by his presence and by what word of comfort he may be able to say to those that are interested in charitable work and charitable endeavors.
“Accordingly, it is a pleasure for me to come here today and welcome you to this capital city of the state. And I hope your meeting here will be fruitful of more success than you even wish for yourself.”
“If anything in my life has made me feel the value of spirituality, of Jewish spirituality, it is my connection with the cultural or religious activities of the Joint Distribution Committee,” said Col. Lehman. “I did not honestly think that that spirit existed anywhere in this world. When you saw or knew of literally hundreds of thousands of men and women who preferred to have the money which was available used for the development and maintenance of their religious life rather than for the purpose of furnishing bread, clothing and shelter, which they needed to a degree which you and I cannot possibly visualize-when you see these people making the most tremendous sacrifices in order to maintain the life of their synagogue and religious school, to bring up their children as good members of the faith, you realize the hold which the spiritual life has on these people, and you also realize why the Jewish faith has existed and the Jewish people have come down through generations during the last several thousand years.
“That work must be continued where necessary. Fortunately, the need is lessened and increasingly lessened. But it still remains to a very considerable degree. I don’t think anybody can question the value of the work done during the last fourteen years by American Jewry for the relief of war sufferers abroad. I do not think anybody can, in sincerity, question the need of continuing that work, at least to some considerable extent, over the next two or three years,” Col. Lehman declared.
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