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Ben-Gurion Says He Blames No American Jew for Wishing to Remain in U.S.

January 29, 1962
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

“As much as I want many American Jews to cone here, I don’t blame any Jew wishing to remain in the United States,” Israel Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion told the Hadassah leaders who arrived here to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of their organization. However, he emphasized that Israel needs pioneering youth from every country.

“Remain in America as you wish–but stay a Jew, “Mr. Ben-Gurion told the Hadassah mission composed of more than 150 delegates. At the same time he urged Hadassah to foster-Hebrew and Jewish education in the United States, to strengthen personal relations with Israel, and to encourage the spirit of pioneering among American Jewish youth. He said he was certain that there are thousands of Jewish youths in the United States who could find profound satisfaction in rebuilding Israel.

The Prime Minister expressed his sentiments addressing a colorful meeting, in Convention Hall here, officially launching the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Hadassah. Other speakers included President Izhak Ben-Zvi, Dr; Nahum Goldmann and Mayor Mordechai Ish-Shalom of Jerusalem; A portrait of the late Henrietta Szold, who founded Hadassah in 1912, was flanked on the speakers platform by the United States and Israel flags.


Mrs. Rose Halprin, former national president of Hadassah, and a member of the Jewish Agency, who presided at the meeting, told the Prime Minister that Hadassah’s influence reaches into more than a third of the Jewish homes in the United States; “We shall do,” she assured him, “what has to be done, in the things we believe in–support of Israel and strengthening of Jewish life,” Hadassah, she asserted, “looks to Israel as to a lodestar, for Judaism renewed, for all Jews, wherever they choose to live;”

President Ben-Zvi told the assemblage of 2,000 persons in the hall that Hadassah “represents 50 years of valuable, fruitful activity.” The organization, he said, “in its size, in its development and in its 50 years as a phenomenon, not only among Zionist bodies but among Jewish organization in general, holds the place of pride among the Jews living outside Israel;”

Dr. Goldmann urged Hadassah to be “more ambitious” by playing a still greater role in American Jewish life and in world Jewish affairs; “You are such a strong organization, “he said; “Go out into the Jewish communities, extend your spheres of influence;”

The members of the Hadassah Golden. Jubilee mission took part today in ceremonies at which a special Hadassah Forest was planted by the Jewish National Fund. Leaders of the JNF paid warm tribute to Hadassah’s contributions toward afforestation and land development in Israel; The new forest adjoins the recently completed Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center;

Leading members of Israel’s Cabinet and Parliament attended the ceremonies, and lauded Hadassah for developing modern hospitals throughout Israel, maintaining a high level of public health services, contributing toward the development of educational and vocational-training institutions, and constant stimulation of youth immigration to Israel.

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