Vice-President Charles C. Curtis and Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt head the list of distinguished Americans, who through the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today issued statements expressing their sorrow at the death of Lord Balfour. Those issuing statements include Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Morris Rothenberg, vice-president of the Zionist Organization of America; James Rosenberg, president of the Agro-Joint; Lieut-Governor Herbert Lehman, David Sarnoff, president of the Radio Corp. of America; Dr. Lee K. Frankel, vice-president Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Schmarya Levin and Mrs. Robert F. Szold, president of the Hadassah. Statements were also received from Ferdinand Veverka, Czecho-Slovakian Minister to the United States; the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, Zionist Organization of America, David Bressler, Rabbi Samuel Schulman, James D. Heller, James Marshall, Judge Julian W. Mack, and Bernard S. Deutsch.
Secretary, The American Jewish Committee
ages. That there are today 160,000 Jews in Palestine building a new Jewish life there in keeping with the Jewish spirit and in furtherance of Jewish ideals, is, in no small measure, due to the deep and abiding sympathy that the late Earl of Balfour always had for this aspiration. In later years he will also be remembered as he stood on Mount Scopus on that historic day when he formally opened the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and dedicated this Jewish contribution to the higher service of all mankind.
Aristocrat, scholar and statesman, the Earl of Balfour dignified the generation in which he lived and his death deprives the Jews of one of their warmest friends.
MRS. ROBERT F. SZOLD
Our friend is gone. Protagonist of the Zionist ideal and author of the document that gave the Jews of the world the right to develop their homeland in Palestine, the death of Lord Balfour saddens the hearts of all who knew the man and his works. He leaves to the Jewish people and to the world a record of deeds that few men of all times have accomplished. The Declaration that bears his name transformed Zionism in a thrice from a hypothesis to a reality and focused the attention of the universe on the revived strength of the Jews as a national group. His spirit will live in Zionism forever. And in the women’s part of the movement, in Hadassah, the name of Lord Balfour will stand as a beacon to light our endeavors.
JAMES G. HELLER
The entire Jewish people will mourn the passing of Lord Balfour, a great statesman and friend of the Jewish people. Because of his humanitarian principles, his name will not only be engraved deep on the pages of English history but it will also be enshrined in our memories.
RABBI SAMUEL SCHULMAN
With sorrow and with profound reverence, we learn of the passing of the Earl of Balfour, England’s great statesman and thinker, who has made for himself an imperishable name in history. Jews all over the world will mourn the death of this great spirit. As a philosopher, Balfour in his “Foundations of Belief” and in his “Theism,” vindicated the underlying principles of religion, and thus spiritually became the champion of much for which Israel lived and lives today. But above all, it was Balfour, the author of the Declaration, who stands out as the embodiment of a spirit of justice and friendship and helpfulness to the Jewish people, as these were embodied in the policy of a great Government. Whatever differences of opinion may exist in Jewry, with respect to the philosophies of life and interpretations of Jewish genius, one thing stands out clear, that the name of Balfour became the synonym for a gesture of goodwill to much-tried and suffering Israel.
Israel has always had a vivid memory for the noble leaders amongst the nations of the world who have chivalrously championed its cause. The name of Balfour will be treasured in the hearts of Jews with reverence and affection from generation to generation. May the memory of the righteous be indeed, a blessing to mankind.
AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS
At a meeting of the Administrative Committee of the American Jewish Congress, the following resolution was adopted:
The Administrative Committee of the American Jewish Congress has learned with profound sorrow of the passing of Arthur James Balfour, one of England’s greatest sons, and a most distinguished leader and spokesman of all humanity. Eminent representative of the public life of his nation, combining the rare qualities of statesman and philosopher, renowned as a Parliamentarian, publicist, thinker and advocate of noble causes, whose long and illustrious career has become part and parcel of British history, the late Viscount Balfour added further luster to his celebrated name by championing the cause of a scattered and oppressed people, linked in tradition and culture with the beliefs and ideals of England. His championship of the great cause of Jewish return and rebirth in Palestine voiced officially in the celebrated Balfour Declaration, providing for the upbuilding of our historic land as the Jewish national home and expressed also in many addresses and documents, has earned for him the gratitude not only of the whole Jewish people, but further of millions of non-Jewish sympathizers whose hearts had been touched by the pledge of the nation to at last do justice to the people of Israel.
Viscount Balfour earned our further gratitude by championing the full rights of Jewish and all other minorities wherever they abide. Lover of justice, friend of mankind, seeker of truth and beauty, devotee of the sacredness of human life and all of life’s lofty ideals, herald of a greater future for the whole human race, Viscount Balfour’s imperishable fame remains as a byword of blessing and pride to his own nation and to all who have come within the world-wide range of his beneficent thoughts and activities.
Bernard S. Deutsch, President
Bernard G. Richards, Executive Director.
MORRIS D. WALDMAN
I am certain that the members of the American Jewish Committee join with all other Jewish groups in mourning the death of Lord Balfour, who manifested so keen an interest in the Jewish people, and did so much to redress age-long wrongs by making possible the establishment of a national home for them in Eretz Israel.
Regarding the great pronouncement of the British Government which bears Lord Balfour’s name, I can express the views of the Committee no better than by quoting from the Report submitted by the Executive Committee to the Annual Meeting held November 10, 1928. “The Balfour Declaration,” says this report, “removed the future of the Jews in Palestine from the realm of idealistic conjecture and political propaganda to the plane of a practical probability, if not a reality; it opened up a vista of inspiring possibilities which filled all Jews with sacred enthusiasm.” In a resolution which had been previously adopted by the General Committee at a special meeting held on April 28, 1918, the Committee expressed its profound appreciation of the Balfour Declaration, and pledged cooperation “with those who, attracted by religious or historic associations, shall seek to establish in Palestine a center of Judaism, for the stimulation of our faith, for the pursuit and development of literature, science and art in a Jewish environment, and for the rehabilitation of the land.”
It was in harmony with this pledge, that the late president of the Committee, Louis Marshall, made those endeavors for the united effort of the Jews of the world for the rebuilding of Palestine, which culminated just before his death, in the organization of an enlarged Jewish Agency.
I am confident that at the next meeting of our Executive Committee a resolution will be adopted more fittingly expressing the sentiments of the Committee over the death of this great benevolent statesman and inspired humanitarian.
DR. SCHMARYA LEVIN
Every nation produces from time to time a great man, who in his person represents the highest qualities which that nation possesses and who himself becomes the embodiment of the entire nation. Such a great personality was Arthur Balfour who has for all eternity linked his name to the renaissance of the Jewish people. Even during his lifetime the figure of Balfour loomed large, loomed as a hero whose sharp eye could penetrate into the future. Only a historian will be able to evaluate his true importance for humanity. The Balfour Declaration the Magna Charta of the wandering and suffering Jewish people is not merely a Jewish, it is also a world matter. Its task is to abolish a great, perhaps the greatest historic injustice, and with its realization will begin a new epoch in world history. Though stormy days may yet come, they will not destroy the creation of this great forerunner of the
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.