The Rev. John Haynes Holmes of the Community Church was among the recipients of honorary degrees conferred by the Jewish Institute of Religion at the fifth annual Commencement exercises held last night. In conferring the degree of Doctor of Divinity upon Rev. Holmes, Dr. Stephen S. Wise, President of the Jewish Institute of Religion, addressed him as follows:
“John Haynes Holmes, religionist-humanist, battler for divine values in human life, clear-eyed seer of truth, sub specie eternitatis et humanitatis, hospitable to truth whether uttered by Isaiah or Marx, Jesus or Lincoln, Tolstoi or Ghandi, mighty apostle of justice and resistlessly militant prophet of peace, foremost in his generation in the American pulpit measured by the standards of Theodore Parker and David Einhorn, Phillips Brooks and Isaac Wise, Washington Gladden and Emil Hirsch, defender of Israel because friend of man, servant of justice and helper of the wronged”.
Henrietta Szold of Jerusalem, organizer and leader for many years of the American Jewish woman Zionist organization, Hadassah, and now a leader of Zionist activities in Palestine, and Lucien Wolf, leader of British Jewry, were given the degree of Doctor of Hebrew Letters in absentia. Judge Julian W. Mack, chairman of the Board of Trustees, in presenting Miss Szold described her as the most eminent of Israel’s daughters of the present age. Lucien Wolf was presented by Dean Harry S. Lewis, and was recommended by him as worthy of being honored by world-Jewry because of his life-long consecration to the Jewish cause and his unswervingly valiant battle for Jewish rights.
Ten students received the degrees of Master of Hebrew Literature and Rabbi, and several others received fellowships and prizes. The principal address at the commencement exercises was made by the Hon. Solomon M. Stroock, chairman of the board of trustees of the Jewish Theological Seminary on the theme, “The Rabbi and the Perplexedâ€”The Need for a Guide”. Mr. Stroock stressed the need of spiritual guidance for a world perplexed by doubt.