Jews World over Mourn Death of Mrs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
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Jews World over Mourn Death of Mrs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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Jews throughout the world deeply mourned today the passing of Mrs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, widow of the late, wartime President of the United States. She died here last night at the age of 78.

Jews cited, among her other achievements, Mrs. Roosevelt’s leadership in the United Nations, where, as a U.S. delegate and chairman of the Human Rights Commission, she was the principal proponent of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; her advocacy of Israel’s cause since prior to Israel’s admission to UN membership; and her sponsorship and patronage of a wide variety of Jewish and non-Jewish organizations in the human rights and anti-discrimination fields.

From Israel came messages of condolence from that country’s leading personalities, including President Izhak Ben-Zvi, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Foreign Minister Golda Meir. President Ben-Zvi noted his “deep regret and shock,” stressing Mrs. Roosevelt’s “constant devotion to understanding among peoples and nations, and particularly her personal friendship and devotion to Israel.”

Mr, Ben-Gurion referred to her “unique contribution to democratic human values” which, he stated, “engraved her name indelibly in our consciousness as a great woman and great citizen of the world.” Mrs. Meir stated: “I saw her as the greatest woman in the world; she never hesitated to come out for a cause she felt was right, and she never had any difficulty in making a decision between what was right and what was expedient.”

At Buenos Aires, the DAIA, central organization of Argentine Jewry, and the South American executive of the World Jewish Congress, sent a message to the United States Ambassador, conveying their grief and sorrow.”

At the United Nations, Israel’s permanent representative, Michael S. Comay, said: “More than anyone else in the world, she exemplified in her own person that love of one’s fellow man, and that understanding between peoples, for which the United Nations stands.”


The American section of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the World Zionist Organization issued a statement expressing the “profound sorrow of the entire Zionist movement the world over.” Mrs. Rose L. Halprin, chairman of the Agency, paid special tribute to Mrs. Roosevelt’s unstinting support of the establishment of the State of Israel as a place of refuge for Jewish displaced people and refugees; Mrs. Halprin also cited the “compassionate support” which Mrs. Roosevelt gave to the Youth Aliya movement, of which she was World Patron.

Rabbi Irving Miller, chairman of the American Zionist Council, said: “We Jews, here in the United States, have lost an understanding friend and a warm comrade. We shall not see another like her.”

Dr. Max Nussbaum, president of the Zionist Organization of America, summoned all 600 ZOA chapters to conduct appropriate memorial services. He cited Mrs. Roosevelt’s “consistent and courageous championship of the cause for a Jewish State in Israel, both as a member of the U. S. delegation in the United Nations and as an outspoken public leader, statesman, and writer.”

Monroe Goldwater, president of the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York, speaking in behalf of the officers and leaders of UJA, expressed “profound sorrow” at the passing of Mrs. Roosevelt. “As honorary chairman of UJA’s forthcoming 25th Anniversary Year Committee,” she said, “she had reaffirmed her identification with our cause and with the hundreds of thousands of human beings it serves in Europe, in Israel and in our own country.”

Abraham A. Feinberg, president of the Israel Bond Organization, aid Mrs. Roosevelt’s death was “an irreparable loss to mankind.” He declared that “She believed in the people of Israel and their capacity to build a new democracy, and participated in the Israel Bond campaign as a vital instrument in providing them with the means of attaining economic independence.”

Norman G. Levine, president of Bnai Zion, fraternal Zionist organization in this country, announced that a 1,000-tree grove of trees would be planted in Israel’s “Freedom Forest,” near Jerusalem, in memory of Mrs. Roosevelt.

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