Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Jews Throughout U.S. Celebrate Proclamation of State; Weizmann Greets Yishuv

May 16, 1948
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Jewish community in the United States Joined Jews in Israel and throughout the world today in celebrating the establishment of Jewish state. Special thanksgiving services were held tonight in synagogues throughout the country and additional services were planned for tomorrow. Jewish leaders, including Dr. Chaim Weizmann, Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, and others, hailed the establishment of Israel in statements issued in Few York this afternoon.

Celebrations will roach a high point in New York Sunday evening at a rally at ##adison Square Garden, sponsored by the American Zionist Emergency Council, at which p. Chain Weizmann, Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, Henry Morgenthau Jr., Mayor William ## Dwyer, Mrs, Eleanor Roosevelt, Senator Robert A. Taft, Dr. Emanuel Neumann, Brig. Gen. Julius Klein, Babbi Wolf Gold, Hayim Greenberg and Mrs. Samuel W. Halprin will among the speakers.The text of Dr. Weizmann’s statement, which was sent to Premier Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv, reads as follows:

“On this memorable day, when the Jewish state arises after two thousand years, I send my expression of love and admiration to all “sections of the Yishuv and my warmest greetings to its government now entering on its grave and Inspiring responsibility. I am fully convinced that all who have and will become citizens of the Jewish state will strive their utmost to live up to the new opportunity which history has bestowed upon them. It will be our destiny to create the institutions land values of a free community in the spirit of our great traditions which have contributed so much to the thought and spirit of mankind.

“At this moment, I think with special gratitude and affection of our pioneers and workers who have borne the burden of building Jewish Palestine and who now sustain the brunt and sacrifice of its defense. It is not easy for mo to think of peaceful farmers of Nahalal and Ein Eared, or the youth of our Jewish cities in the role of soldiers on active service. In the days of Ezra, our forefathers built with one hand while defending themselves with the other. We are called upon today to act in this tradition.

“It is the profound desire of our people to establish relations of harmony and mutual respect with their Arab fellow citizens, with the neighboring Arab states and with all other nations in the human family. As the British Mandate ends, we think with gratitude of the vision which inspired its inauguration. We also think of those nations, big and small, who, under the auspices of the United Nations contributed their share to the international decision which confirmed our right to statehood. ?y thoughts are with the Yishuv in this fateful hour. May God’s blessings rest on you all.


Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, chairman of the American section of the Jewish Agency, Issued a statement today declaring that “the Jewish state must translate Jewish precept into action. The prophetic teachings must come alive in a progressive democracy whose example will shine throughout the world. We may give thanks that we have been d to witness the realization of the age-old hope.”

Dr. Emanuel Neumann, president of the Zionist Organization of America, expressed the hope that “heavy burdens assumed by the Provisional Government of the republic of Israel will be lightened by its prompt recognition by the United States. We receive the news of the event in a spirit of humility and gratitude, cognizant of the trials and ordeals which may lie ahead, We, the Jews of the U.S., will proudly continue to contribute our effort and substance to help the new state in every form possible and appropriate.”

“The republic of Israel is the result not only of an inevitable historic process,” Judge Morris Rothenberg, president of the Jewish National Fund, asserted. “It is nurtured and guided “by the Zionist movement hut represents in a very tangible manner the fruit of incomparable Jewish heroism on the field of battle. This is indeed ‘day which the Lord has made’ and all friends of Justice and lovers of freedom and democracy will rejoice therein.”

Dr. Israel Goldstein, national chairman of the United Palestine Appeal, expressed confidence that “all the obstacles in the path of the Jewish state will be surmounted, and the civilized world will have reason to bless the day when the Jewish state was born. The prophecy of Amos, which will be read in synagogues this Sabbath, is being fulfilled.”


Dr. Stephen S. Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress, asserted that American Jews we shall do honor to our own America by giving cur strength, our resources, our faith to the land of 19 centuries of unwearied hope. The test of the ages the world’s doubts and Israel’s loyalty is at hand. God bless Eretz Israel God give the ancient and the new land of Israel His safeguarding benediction.”

Louis Lipsky, chairman of the executive committee of the American Jewish Conference, declared that on “Sunday morning, May 16, the Jewish community of Palestine will broadcast the declaration that it is prepared to take on the responsibilities of a free, democratic state. The presence of the Jewish state among the nations is proclaimed and registered. The acceptance by other sates of the fact of its existence is invited and sought. Thus, the people of Israel take their place once more as a corporate body among the nations.”

Edward M.M. Warburg, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, declared [%t “with the proclamation of the state of Israel, the J.D.C. Joins with many Jews the world over in Bonding warmest best wishes for peace and prosperity to the heroic Jewish community of Palestine, and in welcoming the hope that is presented for thousands of homeless Jews throughout the world to find at last in Israel a chance to build for themselves a now life and thus make their desired contribution to the world at large.”

Henry Morgonthou, Jr., former Secretary the Treasury and general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal campaign for $250,000,000, appealed to the U.S. Government to recognize the new Jewish state immediately. Asserting that the establishment of Israel is the inevitable outcome of the U.N. partition decision of last November, he declared that America’s national interests will be strengthened in winning the new state as an ally.

“The setting up of the provisional government of Israel narks a change in the relationship of American Zionists to Palestine,” Mrs. Samuel VT. Halprin, national president of Hadassah, declared. “The Jews of Israel are new citizens of their own country. They will make and abide by their own lava, choose their own legislators, tax and themselves, and speak on their own behalf in the council chambers of the nations.

Mrs. Sincha Rebinowitz, national president of the Mizrachi Women’s Organization of America, said: “The announcement of the establishment of the Jewish state is a challenge not only to Jews throughout the world but to all people everywhere who believe that right justice must be the governing principles of International relations.

Recommended from JTA