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20,000 New Yorkers Celebrate Jerusalem’s 3,000th Anniversary

October 21, 1953
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The 3,000th anniversary of the founding of Jerusalem as the first capital of Israel by King David was marked here by the New York Jewish community at a city-wide celebration tonight at Madison Square Garden.

Dr. Israel Goldstein, chairman of the Jerusalem Anniversary Committee, announced that more than 20,000 persons were present for “this historic salute to the world’s foremost spiritual center.” Admission to the celebration was by purchase of State of Israel Bonds. Funds derived from the sale of Israel Bonds in connection with the celebration will be used to rebuild and industrialize Jerusalem and help strengthen the economy of the young nation.

Dr. Goldstein presided at the ceremonies, and speakers included Henry Morgenthau, Jr., former Secretary of the Treasury and chairman of the board of governors of the State of Israel Bond Organization; Rudolf G. Sonneborn, president of the Israel Bond Organization; and Mayor Vincent R. Impellitteri, who presented the official greetings of the City of New York to the City of Jerusalem. Ambassador Abba S. Eban, Israel’s envoy to the United States, and Zeev Shepher, Deputy Speaker of the Israel Parliament, who headed a special delegation of eight members of the Knesset, also participated.

Highlight of the celebration was the presentation of a music-dance drama, “City of the Ages, ” written by Maurice Samuel and starring Edward G. Robinson, Cary Grant and Jose Ferrer. The drama depicted the development of Jerusalem and its significance as the spiritual center of Jewish life and religion.

A special religious service was held during the celebration program when a priceless Torah, sent as a gift from the people of Jerusalem, was presented to the Jewish people of New York. The Torah, made in Jerusalem from salvaged parchments damaged by the Nazis, was accepted by Dr. Goldstein on behalf of the Jewish community of New York.

Another feature of the ceremony was the kindling of a silver-headed peace torch which Mr. Shepher presented to Mr. Morgenthau. The torch, which was used in a similar ceremony recently on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem, was kindled in a ritual dating back to Jerusalem 3,000 years ago, and which calls upon the nations of the world to dwell together in peace.

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