Henry Ford, one of the guests of honor at a dinner given at the Hotel Commodore on Thursday night by more than 2,000 Jews as a testimonial to David A. Brown, national chairman of the United Jewish Campaign, paid his tribute to Mr. Brown as well as to “the great race which is proud and fortunate to count him among its own,”-the race to which Mr. Ford apologized two years ago after repeated anti-Semitic attacks in the “Dearborn Independent,” which he controlled.
Mr. Ford’s encomiums to Mr. Brown and the Jewish people were contained in a statement which was issued at the dinner, but not read, and most of those present were not aware of its existence.
At the first mention of Mr. Ford’s name by one of the early speakers, however, the entire gathering stood and cheered about a minute. Mr. Ford, from his place of honor on the speakers’ dais, bowed his acknowledgement. He was referred to several times by later speakers, and some of them told Ford jokes-at which Mr. Ford laughed.
His statement was as follows: “I am happy to come here tonight to pay a tribute of admiration to my good friend David A. Brown, and through him to the great race which is proud and fortunate to count him among their own.
“David A. Brown is a shining example of the great benevolence of the Jewish people, their philanthropy, their eagerness to make this world better, to educate the untutored to heal the sick; to care for the orphans; their intense and intelligent participation in all that makes for civic righteousness and social justice stamps them a great people-and David A. Brown is one of their greatest and finest sons.”
The dinner welcomed Mr. Brown, formerly a resident of Detroit, to New York, where he will make his residence (Continued on Page 4)
Hundreds of telegrams of greeting and congratulation were received by Mr. Brown, and among those read by the toastmaster, Dr. Lee K. Frankel, were messages from President Hoover. Acting Governor of New York Lehman, Ambassador C. C. Wu of China, former Ambassador Henry Morgenthau. Bishop Gallagher of Detroit, Felix M. Warburg, who is now in London, and Julius Rosenwald of Chicago. Mayor Walker, unable to attend because of the death of a relative, sent a message of regret.
President Hoover’s message, which was read at the dinner, declared: “Please extend to the citizen’s committee for the testimonial dinner to David A. Brown my sincere regrets that I cannot participate in person in the expression of good-will and regard which your distinguished guest so well deserves.
“Over a period of many years I have known of the large range of civic, patriotic and humanitarian activities of Mr. Brown. In a number of these movements I have enjoyed his close association, especially in the efforts for the relief of war sufferers in many lands. He has rendered noteworthy contributions to the well-being and happiness of many peoples. I greatly admire his outstanding services in the fund raising activities of the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. He has been at all times inspired by unselfish ideals and he has succeeded to a remarkable degree in stimulating the generous activities of others.”
Among the speakers, all of whom praised Mr. Brown’s broad philanthropic services, were David M. Bressler, chairman of the citizens’ committee that arranged the dinner: James Schermerhorn, former president of the Michigan Press Association; Judge Alfred J. Murphy, dean of the Circuit Court of Michigan: Louis Marshall, president of the American Jewish Committee; Martin W. Littleton, former Borough President of Brooklyn, and J. Howard Ardrey, vice-president of the Guaranty Trust Company.
Mr. Brown, in a brief address, spoke of the need of individuals willing to give their time and money to humane services. He was presented with a desk set.
Among the guests were Mr. Brown’s mother. Mrs. Charlotte Brown, seventy-six, and his two daughters, Rosalie and Carolyn.
Delegations attended the dinner from fifteen other States and the District of Columbia and from eight other cities within New York State.
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.