Z.O.A. Holds Herzl Centennial Assembly; Herzl Award Goes to Balfour
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Z.O.A. Holds Herzl Centennial Assembly; Herzl Award Goes to Balfour

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The Earl of Balfour, nephew and heir of Arthur James Balfour, author of the Balfour Declaration, wherein the British Government first pledged to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, received in behalf of his late uncle the posthumous second Herzl Gold Medallion of the Zionist Organization of America at the Herzl Centennial Dinner held tonight at the Hotel Waldorf-Astoria.

The presentation of the Herzl Medallion was made by Abraham A. Redelheim, president of the ZOA, in the presence of over 1,000 persons, prominent in all walks of Jewish life, in recognition of the distinguished services to Zionism in the spirit of Theodor Herzl, rendered by the late Arthur James Balfour. The first Herzl Award was presented last May to President Izhak Ben-Zvi of Israel in the President’s residence in Jerusalem,

Zionist leaders including Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization; Dr. Emanuel Neumann, member of the Jewish Agency executive; and Rabbi Irving Miller, chairman of the American Zionist Council, led in tribute to the memory of the late author of the Balfour Declaration. The speakers took occasion to emphasize the uncompleted tasks devolving upon the Zionist movement and joined in a call for the strengthening of the relationship between Israel and Jews in the diaspora. The Earl of Balfour, who, together with Countess Balfour, were the guests of honor, also cited the history and achievements of Zionism and the abiding interest of the Balfour family in the Zionist ideal.


Dr. Nahum Goldmann, in his address, voiced the view that “what is still unimplemented in Zionism is its specific Jewish aspect, to make Israel the specific realization of the leading ideas of Jewish history, make it a fully Jewish State, not primarily because the large majority of its citizens are Jews, but because it will be the embodiment of the great central and specific ideas which represent the raison d’etre of the unique, both tragic and historic epic of the history of the Jewish people. It will still take a long time to implement this aspect of Zionism,” he declared.

Mr. Redelheim, in his address, pointed to the fact that the Basle Program (the program adopted at the first Zionist Congress held in Basle, Switzerland in 1897) laid down by Theodor Herzl, called for a Jewish State plus “the strengthening of Jewish sentiment and national consciousness all over the world.” He said that while the “Ingathering of the Exiles to Zion is in the process of accomplishment, the other part of the road remains to be traversed.”

Dr. Emanuel Neumann urged, as one of the major Zionist tasks, “to proceed to lay the foundations for an enduring relationship between the Jewish community in Israel and the Jews in the diaspora.” He emphasized that “if Israel is to fulfill its destiny as a Jewish and Zionist state, it must become the hub and center of the Jewish world, the spiritual focus of Jewish life.”

The Earl of Balfour, in accepting the posthumous Herzl Award for his late uncle, declared that two great Jews deserve the paramount credit for bringing about a change in the thinking of the non-Jewish world toward the Zionist ideal and for enlisting the world support for the idea of a Jewish national home in Palestine. “First, Theodor Herzl, founder of modern Zionism, whose centenary is being honored tonight, and secondly, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who was later to become the first President of the new state of Israel.” The speaker lauded Israel’s achievements in spite of her heavy defense burdens.

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