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Good Will Meeting Emphasizes Common Ideals of Both Faiths

December 16, 1928
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

800 Representatives of Jewish, Protestant and Catholic Faiths Attend

Eight hundred leading representatives of the Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic faiths, meeting Thursday evening, affirmed that Jew and Gentile can meet in amity. Called by the Men’s Club of Temple Emanu-El, and held in the Temple, the meeting heard a pledge of good will from leaders of the Christian Churches in America, as well as prominent laymen, and a plea on the part of Jewish spokesmen that deeds should follow words in the creation of good will.

The Knights of Columbus, the Independent Order Bnai Brith and the Masonic Order were represented at the meeting.

The keynote sounded by Dr. S. Parkes Cadman and reiterated by all the speakers was that all faiths, despite their differences, have one common goal. And that all faiths, with due appreciation for the merits of each, can achieve fraternity by uniting against the common foe–the enemies of progress, light and justice. Christian and Jewish leaders alike referred to Jacob Schiff as an eminent example of loyalty to his own faith and good will to fellow men, and as an excellent model to follow. Spokesmen of all faiths emphasized that the work of good will should be undertaken in no patronizing spirit, if it hopes to be successful.

Those who participated in the exercises were: Dr. S. Parkes Cadman, Honorary President of America’s Good Will Union, the Very Rev. Howard Chandler Robbins, Dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Hon. John G. Agar, Chairman of the Board of America’s Good Will Union, the Rev. Edward L. Hunt, Director of America’s Good Will Union, Rabbi David De Sola Pool of Congregation Shearith Israel, Rabbi Samuel Schulman and Rabbi Nathan Krass, Rabbis of Temple Emanu-El. Judge Myron Sulzberger, President of the Men’s Club, presided. The exercises, held in the home of the largest Jewish Congregation in New York City, were opened and closed with prayer by two Christian clergymen, Rev. Dr. Albert Parker Fitch of the Park Avenue Presbyterian Church and the Rev. Dr. Henry Mottet of the Church of the Holy Communion.

Deprecating uniformity of outlook and practice as inevitably leading to mediocrity, Dr. Cadman declared that it would have been a great misfortune to the world if the Jew had been build like other people. Thanks to its difference it has given a contribution to civilization that is great beyond words. “To the House of Israel we owe the moral conception of God, as the creator of the Universe, and the conception of how we shall worship that God We will never be able to pay the debt we owe to your little nation,” he said. “Let us continue to march under the banners inscribed with our victories, and the same time attack the enemies of progress, light and justice,” he urged.

The work of unification, he pointed out, should be carried on in a wise, sane, statesmanlike fashion, and should affect no patronizing tone.

“Co-operation to the farthest point that our respective faiths and disciplines permit in the maintenance of ideals which are common to both faiths,” should be the goal of the partisans of good will, is the point of view advanced by Dean Robbins. “Good will between Jews and Christians has long since passed the stage of co-operation in philanthropic enterprises. Our allegiance to the God we have in common is threatened today by a common enemy, materialism, that is laying waste things sacred to both Jews and Christians.”

Doubt that good will was in existence and the belief that the Good Will Union was a mechanism erected to disguise the void was expressed by Rabbi Nathan Krass. Preaching a good sermon, he said, is not enough to create good will. Preaching a sermon that will do good, is the important thing. “The Society for Good Will is not an unmixed blessing, he declared. “Its very existence is an indication of poverty, pointing to the fact that good will is not a realization in the Kingdom of men.’

While genuine good will is still a distant ideal, efforts to promote it may generate that virtue in future generations, he maintained.

He criticized those members of the Jewish faith who seek good will by “smuggling in through the back door, sending in their cards with transfigured names.” He urged them to follow in the path of Jacob Schiff, who “proved his Judaism, not by shouting it, but by living it.”

In its campaign for good will, he urged the Christian Church to begin a policy of conversion, not among the heathens or the Jews, but among the Christians.

Turning to Ralph Waldo Emerson for a text, Rabbi Schulman said: “The soul answers never in words, always in the things inquired after. If we wish good will, we must practice it.”

The wish that “some of our Gentiles would offer us good will in a less irritating manner,” was voiced by Dr. De Sola Pool. Dr. Pool referred in particular to the missionary spirit which he stated animates some of the good will emissaries.

Jew and Gentile alike could find no better example to follow than that great personality, Jacob Schiff, declared Hon. John G. Agar.

The program was concluded with the presentation of an American flag to Dr. Edward L. Hunt, Director of America’s Good Will Union. The gift of George MacDonald, a papal chamberlain and of Frederick W. Kavanaugh, an Episcopalian and 32nd degree Mason, the flag was presented by Milton J. Gordon, a Jew, chairman of the Program Committee.

The exercises included a musical program presented by Gerald Warburg, cellist, Cantor Schlager and the Emanu-El choir.

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