Roosevelt, Cabinet Members, Greet American Jews on Rosh Hashanah
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Roosevelt, Cabinet Members, Greet American Jews on Rosh Hashanah

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President Roosevelt, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes, Governor Herbert H. Lehman and heads of various Governments-in-Exile including Czechoslovak President Eduard Benes, Polish Premier Gen. Wladyslaw Sikorski, Greek Premier Emanuel J. Tsouderous and Yugoslav Premier Slobodan Yovanovitch, today greeted the Jews of America in messages issued through the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on the occasion of the Jewish New Year which starts tomorrow at sunset.

President Roosevelt’s message roads: “Upon the occasion of the Jewish New Year, I extend to the Jewish people of America my heart-felt greetings. The tragic turn of events which has temporarily left many peoples of the world suffering under the harsh domination of foreign dictators has stirred America to the depths and has strengthened our resolution that there shall be no compromise in the struggle against hate, intolerance and bigotry.”

Secretary Knox in his message said: “I extend to the Jews of America on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, my best wishes. In this great war for the liberties and freedoms of many races, including the Jews of occupied Europe, the Jews of America as patriotic Americans have responded nobly to our all-out effort to defeat decisively the brutal oppressors of humanity. It will be by toil and blood and wealth that all racial and religious groups of our beloved country will achieve final victory.”

The text of Secretary Ickes’ greetings reads: “This is a particularly auspicious year in which to send a message of greetings to the Jews on the occasion of the Jewish New Year. The Jews have been Hitler’s first victims, and hence the earliest fighters against Nazism. They have also been the most brutally treated of all of Hitler’s victims, and hence his bitterest opponents. Now the Jews, who were the real shock troops against Hitlerism, are no longer alone in the fight. They are joined by the brave and the free peoples of the world, and they will share in the victory with these people. May our common victory bring the fulfillment of the ancient Prophets’ dreams of justice and freedom not only for the Jews but for all humanity.”

Governor Lehman stated: “It is in the spirit of deep solemnity and earnest hope that I greet my fellow citizens at the season of the Jewish New Year. Since this holy day was last celebrated, our country has been plunged into the Second World War – a war for the survival of civilization. We all see plainly now that the foes of religion are the foes of democracy. America, dedicated to God and freedom, can make no peace with rulers who deny physical and spiritual liberty to their own subjects and to the freedom-loving countries of the world. We realize that the cause of the enslaved and martyred peoples throughout the world – among whom are to be numbered millions of Jews – is in sober truth our own cause, Nazism and all its evil and brutal forces must be utterly destroyed. Freedom, justice and security must once more be restored to the world.

“We must give ourselves in sacrificial consecration, with all our determination and enthusiasm, to the war effort. So that we may have fortitude and power for our tasks, we must turn to the inspiration of religious faith, with its message of truth and justice, and its vision of a brighter future. Let us all do our utmost to make that vision come true.”


Thirty-five Governors have issued Rosh Hashanah greetings to the Jews of their states through the Synagogue Council of America. They include the governors of Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington.

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