Jews Throughout World Start New Jewish Year with Prayers for Peace
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Jews Throughout World Start New Jewish Year with Prayers for Peace

Jews throughout the world ushered in the new Jewish year of 5722 tonight with prayers in synagogues and with meditation of life’s supreme purpose; The synagogue services tonight commenced a ten-day period of penitence which culminates on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

The Rosh Hashanah prayers were conducted in the hope that the new year will bring a major breakthrough in the hardening cold war and that mankind everywhere will enjoy the blessings of peace, security, freedom and justice. They were marked by a call for reaffirmation of spiritual values and for renewed commitment to the vision of human dignity and liberty which are the common goals of the democratic world and the Jewish people.

Rosh Hashanah services were also conducted by American Jewish chaplains in West Germany, where U.S. troops have been in a state of alert since the closing of the border between East and West Germany. Global arrangements for High Holy Day services have been made by the National Jewish Welfare Board in all parts of the world where U.S. armed forces are stationed. They were conducted by 370 full and part-time Jewish chaplains in the U.S, Asia, Africa, Europe, Greenland, Puerto Rico, Canal Zone, and Cuba.


Joseph Meyerhoff, national chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, issued a call to American Jews to rededicate themselves to the tasks ahead in the work of helping Israel to absorb the continued flow of new immigrants as well as to finish the absorption of previous waves of newcomers. He appealed for the making of an all-out effort to raise the UJA cash goal of $39, 212, 000 by December 10.

The UJA national chairman released a cabled message from Moshe Sharett, former Prime Minister of Israel and recently elected chairman of the Jewish Agency in Israel, greeting the Jews in this country on Rosh Hashanah and emphasizing that their help “is needed more than ever in the year ahead to cope with the sharply increased immigration of the last six months.”

Edward M. M. Warburg, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, said in his message that in America, Israel and other free lands hundreds of thousands of Jews who were rescued by American Jewry from terror and concentration camps in Europe are now joining in the celebration of the new year, “But, ” he pointed out, “not all may yet celebrate–not those who are trapped in lands of tyranny, not those still homeless, not those who still need help against poverty and disease, not those who have yet to achieve the dignity of free and independent human beings.

“It is in their name that the Joint Distribution Committee sends its greetings this Rosh Hashanah to the American Jewish community. For it is American Jewry–by its help to the JDC through the United Jewish Appeal–which has snatched the hundreds of thousands from death; And it is only to the American Jewish community that the other tens of thousands–in Moslem lands, in Europe, in Israel–can look for help and hope, ” Mr. Warburg emphasized.

Dewey D. Stone, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. said in his message to American Jewry: “As we approach these High Holy Days, reports from Israel tell us that immigrants are again arriving in large numbers. The faces are different, the languages may be different, but the fears and hopes which move these newcomers are the same we witnessed in 1948 and 1949; Jews in search of a home; Jews in search of those freedoms which are the birthright of the human race; Jews in search of a future for themselves and their children.

“The Government of Israel is considering new stringent fiscal measures to meet the increased financial needs arising from the new upswing in immigration. Surely these newcomers are not only the responsibility of the people of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. They are our responsibility as well, the responsibility of the Jews of New York, of Los Angeles, Chicago and all other Jewish communities throughout this country. On this holy day in the shadow of history and the privacy of our own conscience, let us pledge to keep faith with this responsibility,” Mr. Stone appealed.

Abraham Feinberg, president of the Israel Bond Organization, appealed in his Rosh Hashanah message to help in the building of Israel by acquiring more Israel bonds, “In reaffirming our faith in the guiding principles of our Biblical heritage, we see in the image of modern Israel the fulfillment of a people’s prayer. In evaluating the significane of Israel now and for the future, let us alsoevaluate what we can and should do today and tomorrow to participate in its upbuilding and progress,” he said.


Irving Kane, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, said that the Jewish communities in this country look to the achievements of the past year with pride, but they also view those accomplishments as a foundation “to build upon and to advance from.”

“In this perspective,” he continued, “we seek to create a better life for ourselves and our children, for all humanity in a world of peace, friendship and harmony. For, as much as this is a period of prayer, penitence and charity, the Days of Awe are equally a time of renewal and of rededication to the great ideals that have inspired us through the ages–the brotherhood and dignity of man, the oneness of the world, the burning desire for freedom, the yearning for peace.”

Louis Caplan, president of the American Jewish Committee, re-emphasized the goals of his organization for the new year in these terms: “Even in these volatile times, the basic concerns of the American Jewish Committee remain constant: The preservation and furtherance of our great American democracy; protection of the civil and religious rights of Jews everywhere; promotion of improved human relations among all people; opening of havens for those fleeing religious and racial persecution; and efforts to achieve peaceful solutions for some of the troubled regions of the world, especially the Middle East.”

Rabbi Joachim Prinz, president of the American Jewish Congress, stated: “At Rosh Hashanah, we dedicate ourselves as Americans to the goal of full equality in a free society for every citizen. As Jews, we pledge our support of the heroic struggle for peace and security being waged by the people of Israel; we extend our hand in comradeship to our brethren in Moslem lands and behind the Iron Curtain who have been cut off from contact with us; and we dedicate ourselves to renewing our ties with the ethical and spiritual precepts of the Jewish heritage.”

Lewis M, Weinstein, chairman of the National Community Relations Advisory Council, declared: “Looking ahead, the American Jewish community must rededicate itself to continued efforts, in concert with others of similar purpose, to move America toward a fuller realization of its ideals–equality of opportunity without regard to differences of religion, race, ethnic or national origin ; freedom of religion, of opinion and of expression; mutual intergroup acceptance, with respect for differences. These are the conditions that are conducive to creative Jewish living.”

Dr. William Haber, president of the American ORT Federation, noted that, in sending Rosh Hashanah greetings to Jews of America, ORT “does so not alone on its own behalf, but also on behalf of the many individual human beings overseas for whom this New Year is happier and more secure because of the help extended in recent years. ” He recalled ORT aid to Jews in Israel, North Africa, Iran, Poland and other countries.

The theme of rededication in 5722 “to the cause of Jewish migrants” was emphasized in a statement by Murray I. Gurfein, president of United Hias Service. “Today, ” he recalled, “the number of Jewish homeless migrants and refugees turning to us for help is greater than at any time since the days of the exodus of refugees from Hungary and Egypt in 195 6 and 1957. Many Jews who found a haven from prosecution in Cuba–10, 20 and 30 years ago–are seeking emergency resettlement aid for the second time in their lives. Thousands of Jews in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa are seeking the opportunity to rejoin their loved ones in the United States, Latin America, Canada and Australia.”


Rabbi Irving Miller, chairman of the American Zionist Council, said in his Rosh Hashanah message to American Jewry: “As Jews, we are dedicated to a program of furthering Israel’s development–a task we share with all those who are interested in the welfare of the State of Israel, Above and beyond this, however, our specific Zionist task is to strengthen Jewish cultural values in this country by endowing our Jewish education program with a new sense of reality drawn from the fact of Israel’s existence. The establishment of the State, after two millenia of Jewish history, gives new meaning and greater impetus to the study of the Bible and Jewish history.”

Rededication to the task of deepening Jewish spiritual resources was stressed in the message from Mrs. Siegfried Kramarsky, national president of Hadassah, who declared: “True Jewish education transcends the goals of Jewish survival and Jewish unity. True Jewish education leads to understanding, compassion, and imagination to illumine the problems and goals of free men everywhere. The need is obvious. The will has been proclaimed. May this be a year when Jews of America will find the means to translate the will into action.”

On behalf of the World Confederation of General Zionists, of which they are the co-chairmen, Dr. Israel Goldstein and Mrs. Rose L. Halprin expressed several related hopes regarding 5722. They hoped that “Israel, may continue its forward strides.” They pointed to the influx of immigrants into Israel, “now running 100 percent ahead of least year,” declaring “this imposes heavier demands upon the generosity of Jews everywhere.” And they noted their hope and prayer that “during the year ahead, the 2, 500, 000 Jews of Soviet Russia may receive at the hands of the Russian regime an increasing measure of recognition for their rights, religious and cultural, equal to the rights accorded to other minorities.”

Speaking for the World Confederation of General Zionists which he heads as president, Dr. Emanuel Neumann declared that “the solemn observance of Rosh Hashanah by Jews throughout the world underscores the essential unity of Jewish life in all its manifestations–religious, cultural and ethnic.” The New Year, he added, “is the occasion for reaffirming our faith in the oneness of the Jewish people, in the renewal of its national life in Israel, and in its destiny–divinely ordained.”

Special holiday greetings and messages were issued by other leaders, including: Max Bressler, president of the Zionist Organization of America; Albert Schiff, president of the Jewish National Fund of America; Meyer L. Brown, president, and Louis Segal, national secretary of the Farband-Labor Zionist Order; Mrs. Clara Leff, president of Pioneer Women, the women’s Labor Zionist Organization of America; Mrs. Charles Hymes, president of the National Council of Jewish Women; and Dr. Lewis Webster Jones, president of the National Council of Christians and Jews.

A message to more than 4, 000 Jewish congregations throughout the United States was issued by Rabbi Julius Mark, president of the Synagogue Council of America, the central national agency representing the rabbinic and congregational organizations of Conservative, Orthodox and Reform Judaism in this country.

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