Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

150,000 Cheer Jewish State at New York Celebration of Israeli Independence Day

May 5, 1949
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A crowd of more than 250,000 cheered the one-year-old Jewish state at an outdoor meeting today in Madison Square Park arranged by the American Zionist Council to celebrate the first anniversary of Israel. In the evening thousands of persons were turned away from Carnegie Hall where a concert meeting was also held to celebrate the occasion. Tickets were sold out early in the day.

The meeting, which was addressed by Mayor William O’Dwyer of New York, Dr. Isaac Herzog, Chief Rabbi of Israel, Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, Dr, Emanuel Neumann, and other prominent Zionist leaders, started at 4 P.M.President Chaim Weizmann of Israel, who appeared despite the orders of his physician, received a tremendous ovation when he bade farewell to the crowd on the eve of his departure for Israel.

The huge meeting adopted a resolution expressing gratitude to the President of the United States for the part he played in helping to bring about the establishment of Israel. The meeting sent a message of greeting and solidarity to the Government and people of Israel. The message read:

“May your efforts in bringing peace and prosperity to Israel, in gathering and assorting the Jewish immigrants streaming toward Israel, and in cementing anew the spiritual and cultural heritage of the Jewish people be crowned with as much success as your great achievements in the recent past. As we have helped you in the past to overcome the initial difficulties in your way, so we pledge to help you to the best of our abilities in the future.”

Fourteen United Nations delegations were represented at the concert meeting at Carnegie Hall in the evening. The concert featured an orchestra of 75 members of the New York Philharmonic Symphony and the Vinaver Chorus of New York. The speakers included Aubrey S. Eban, Israeli representative to the United Nations, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., of Massachusetts, Senator Paul H. Douglas of Illinois and Dr. Silver.


Ships in New York harbor “sounded off” this morning with whistles and foghorns in honor of the first anniversary of Israeli independence. The ships’ blasts signaled the opening of the “Twelve Days of Commemoration”–from May 4 to May 15–sponsored by both the National and New York United Jewish Appeal to mark the birthday of the Jewish state.

Increased contributions which will help Israel absorb its immigrants are the best possible birthday gifts” for the one-year-old state, declared Monroe Goldwater, president of the U.J.A. of Greater New York, in a statement issued on the occasion of Israel’s first anniversary.

All Yiddish daily newspapers in New York today published special editions devoted to the Israeli anniversary. English-language, newspapers, including the New York Times and New York Sun, published editorials urging the immediate admission of the Jewish state to the United Nations.

Messages of congratulation, to President Weizmann and Ben Gurion were sent today by Frank Goldman, president of the B’nai B’rith, on behalf of the more than 325,000 members of the organization. About 1,000 B’nai B’rith workers for the U.J.A. attended the “Salute to Israel” ceremonies at the Henry Hudson Hotel last night, at which were present Dr. Isaac Halevi Herzog, Chief Rabbi of Israel, and other Israeli leaders now in this country.

Recommended from JTA