The Gottheil Medal for distinguished service for the year 1928 was Friday night awarded by Zeta Beta Tau, Jewish fraternity, in absentia, to Julius Rosenwald of Chicago in recognition of his contributions to education, social welfare and philanthropy regardless of creed.
Unable to attend the New York banquet due to the illness of his wife, Mr. Rosenwald received the presentation at a dinner the same evening in Chicago, given by the Graduate Club of the fraternity.
One hundred members of the fraternity from New York, Philadelphia, Syracuse and other points in the East, including national officers, attended the dinner in the Hotel Roosevelt at which the presentation ceremonies took place. Although he could not attend the dinner, Mr. Rosenwald listened in on the proceedings, which were broadcast over Stations WRNY and W2XAL and received in 36 cities from coast to coast where Zeta Beta Tau dinners were simultaneously taking place.
A telegram expressing regret at his inability to attend and indicating his acceptance of the award, was read at the banquet. In acknowledging the award, Mr. Rosenwald said: “I accept the medal and the distinction it carries with it, although I feel my good fortune comes because your Committee has failed to recognize the good deeds of others far more deserving. I hope to continue to merit the respect and the esteem of my co-religionists, which I desire above all.”
The presentation of the medal was made by Harold Reigelman, Past Supreme Nasi of the fraternity and Past Chairman of the Interfraternity Conference. I. Emanuel Sauder of Philadelphia, Supreme Nasi, who was introduced by Lee Dover, presided. Addresses were delivered by Charles W. Gerstenberg, Secretary of the Interfraternity Conference, William Hodson, Executive Director of the New York City Welfare Council and David A. Brown, Chairman of the United Jewish Campaign.
Sabbath services were conducted by Rabbi A. L. Feinberg.
Citing his gifts to negro education and philanthropy, his large contributions to Russian colonization, his educational gifts that extend from Syria west to Japan, Mr. Reigelman declared the award was made in recognition of “an intellect and conscience sensitive to the needs of all men, able and willing to analyze and meet these needs, a wise, open-minded, open-handed man, a Jew, who serving all mankind well, served Judaism best.
“We honor the philanthropist, the great and wise giver whose largess is marked not alone by its generous bounty but by the dramatic effectiveness with which it drew public attention to the existence of problems which were
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commanding public concern and in respect to which there has not been appropriate public interest,” he continued.
“The field in which these gifts have been made is as broad as humanity. The proportions of his gifts have been commensurate with the nobility of their purposes.”
Mr. Brown emphasized that in climbing the ladder of success, Mr. Rosenwald had not kicked the various rungs behind him. On the contrary, remembering well the various stages of his fight with circumstances, he acquired a sympathy and understanding of unparalleled breadth.
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.