Jews Throughout World Start Celebrating New Year of 5724 Tonight
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Jews Throughout World Start Celebrating New Year of 5724 Tonight

Jews throughout the world will usher in the Jewish New Year 5724 at sundown today with prayers and hope that the coming year may be marked by intensified action among the world powers for permanent peace and total disarmament, will bring salvation to the Jews in the Soviet Union who are suffering from persecution of their culture and religion, and will strengthen Israel to be able to withstand Arab threats of destruction.

Domestically, American Jews will rededicate themselves to the perpetuation of values now commonly accepted by the Jewish community of the United States. These included support of local, national and overseas relief agencies; expansion of Jewish education; and further strengthening of Jewish culture, including study of the Hebrew tongue. These goals of American Jewry were among others reflected in numerous statements issued by the heads of all the leading Jewish organizations in the United States.

Some 100,000 Jewish members of the American armed forces and their dependents will celebrate Rosh Hashanah at bases in more than 50 overseas localities as well as at military and naval installations across the United States. The GI services will be conducted by the 78 full-time and 262 part-time Jewish chaplains in the U.S., Europe, Africa, Alaska, Asia and Latin America. The Jewish Welfare Board field staff in this country and overseas, as well as thousands of volunteers in JWB’s Armed Services Committee, will be working closely with Jewish chaplains in organizing religious services, home hospitality, and various celebrations.


Joseph Meyerhoff, general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, issued a Rosh Hashanah message to the Jews of the United States, hoping that for the American Jewish community and the people of Israel, the new year “may again be a year in which we can devote our undivided energies to bring life and hope to all the helpless and downtrodden Jews.”

“At this critical juncture in Jewry’s battle for survival overseas, we must go forward with unhesitating faith and our characteristic generosity to assure the necessities of life to our unfortunate brethren abroad, and share with the people of Israel the costs and sacrifices of accepting and absorbing one of the largest migrations of homeless and dispossessed Jews in a decade,” he said.

Edward M.M. Warburg, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, stressed in his message that today there are still Jewish refugees–as there have been every year since the end of World War II. “Jewish communities,” he said, “are disappearing from North Africa and other areas and are multiplying elsewhere. The largest number of refugees, the 100,000 Jews who fled from Algeria last year, will celebrate Rosh Hashanah 5724 in France. In that country, the Jewish community has risen from 350,000 to 500,000. In Israel, this year, as in other years since the war, thousands of new faces will appear at services.

“In their name the Joint Distribution Committee sends Rosh Hashanah greetings–in the name not only of the hundreds of thousands of Jews throughout the world who have been helped by American Jews through the United Jewish Appeal, but of the other thousands who look to the future with hope this Rosh Hashanah because they know that they have not been forgotten,” Mr. Warburg stated.


Dewey D. Stone, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc., said: “It is now obvious that tens of thousands of our fellow Jews, who desperately need and want a new home, will have their wish fulfilled this year. For most of them, it will mean the realization of their prayers that their next year will be in Jerusalem. For many years, the Jewish Agency has been the major instrument of Diaspora Jewry for the rescue and rehabilitation of their brethren. The funds which American Jewry has furnished the Jewish Agency through the United Jewish Appeal have enabled us to help meet one of the greatest challenges and opportunities of modern Jewish history. Much more, surely, will need to be done in the New Year. I pray we shall have the heart, the mind and the means to do it.

Dr. Emanuel Neumann, chairman of the Jewish Agency-American Section, declared: “On Rosh Hashanah, let us remember the thousands and tens of thousands of our brethren seeking sanctuary in the land of Israel and streaming to its shores in reliance upon our aid and generosity. Let us also bear in mind the fate of Jewish communities inlands of oppression and consider our moral responsibility toward them. Let us also give heed to the special problem of 3,000,000 fellow Jews in the Soviet Union who are still denied the right and possibility to preserve their religious and cultural identity and are threatened with extinction as a Jewish community. Above all let us remember that we and our fellow Jews throughout the world are one people, bound together by our common historic experience, by our common faith and spiritual heritage.”

Abraham Feinberg, president of the Israel Bond Organization, noted in his New Year message that, while the investment capital mobilized through Israel bonds since 1951 “has literally changed the face” of Israel, a minimum of $75,000,000 must be provided in 1963 alone to aid Israel’s economic development.

Louis Stern, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, called for rededication to fundamental Jewish values. He asked for concrete actions in the fields of human rights, education, “the kind of America we help to build, the kind of Israel we help to make possible, the kind of international brotherhood of all peoples we share in moulding.”


Emigration was the principal theme of the holiday message issued by Murray I. Gurfein, president of United Hias Service. Pointing out that, in the last quarter-century, United Hias and its predecessor agencies rescued more than 500,000 Jewish survivors of Nazi persecution, he declared that hundreds of thousands of the estimated 3,000,000 Jews in Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East are now potential migrants.

Dr. Villiam Haber, president of the American ORT Federation, also touched upon migration. For entire Jewish communities, he noted, “this is a new DP era.” He pointed to the increasing immigration into Israel, the 120,000 Algerian Jews who have come to France, the tens of thousands of others who came from other parts of North Africa, and the fact that, in Israel, ORT schools “are swamped by applicants.” More than 17,000 Israelis have been enrolled in the ORT schools for the new academic year, he said.

A M. Sonnabend, president of the American Jewish Committee, emphasized in his message the plight of Russian Jewry. While referring to the struggle for civil rights in this country, Mr. Sonnabend declared that “of primary concern is the plight of the 3,000,000 Jews in the Soviet Union, victims of an unending campaign of official discrimination against their religious, educational, economic and cultural life.”

Rabbi Joachim Prinz, president of the American Jewish Congress, stressed the ecumenical spirit now sweeping the world. He called upon the Jewish people to pledge further support to Israel, and “extend our hand in comradeship to those of our brethren overseas who have been cut off from contact with us.”

On behalf of the six rabbinical and congregational organizations of Reform, Orthodox and Conservative Jewry in the United States, embraced by the Synagogue Council of America, Rabbi Uri Miller, president of the Council, urged churches, synagogues and their adherents to spearhead the Negro struggle for equal rights and equal opportunities. “Equality,” he pointed out, “is the basis of the Jewish religion, and intolerance and injustice our common enemy.” He also pointed to the fate of the Jews in the Soviet Union.


On behalf of the American Zionist Council, Rabbi Irving Miller, chairman of the AZC, stated that, while Israel is making steady progress, “we continue to be disturbed by the unceasing propaganda warfare of the Arab states against Israel, and their aggressive acts on Israel’s borders.”

Dr. Max Nussbaum, president of the Zionist Organization of America, deplored the “fragmentations” in the American Jewish community, and called for the “recreation of a united American Jewish Assembly.”

Mrs. Siegfried Kramarsky, national president of Hadassah, expressed the “hope for the security and peaceful development of Israel as a nation among the nations and as the center of our spiritual and cultural lives as Jews.”

Dr. Israel Goldstein and Mrs. Samuel W. Halprin, co-chairmen of the World Confederation of General Zionists, appealed to the Soviet Union, without naming it, for permission to Jews there “to pursue their lives as Jews and, if they so choose, to emigrate freely.” They expressed “pride” in Israel, which guarantees equal rights and privileges to all its citizens, and asked for rededication to the aim of achieving world peace.

Samuel H. Daroff, president of the American Jewish League for Israel, appealed to all constituents to “make good use of the New Year in enabling the Jewish Agency, by their contributions, to administer a program of substantial immigration to Israel, in fostering the spread of the Hebrew language and in developing spiritual and cultural ties with Israel.” New Year messages were also issued by Albert Schiff, president of the Jewish National Fund of America; Louis Segal, general secretary of the Farband-Labor Zionist Order; Blanche Fine, president of the Pioneer Women; Mrs. Joseph Willen, president of the National Council of Jewish Women; and Dr. Lewis Webster Jones, president of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

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