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March 17, 1967 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-03-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

B-G, Hailed in Three Cities, Returns Compliment
to U.S. Jewry; Given Award, Degree in New York

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

NEW YORK—Declaring that he
was "never more impressed with'
the deep Jewish commitment of the
American Jewish community" than
on his present tour, David Ben-
Gurion, speaking at a meeting Tues-
day of the American Section of the
Jewish Agency Executive, ex-
pressed his deep conviction that
American Jewry will for many
years continue to play an important
role in the development and
growth of Israel.
Speaking here at a meeting at
which Mrs. Rose L. Halprin, chair-
man of the Jewish Agency, Ameri-
can Section, presided, the former
Israel prime minister, who for
many years was chairman of the
executive of the Jewish Agency,
laid down three priorities as the
pressing tasks for American Jewry:
1. The teaching of Hebrew.
2. The study of the Bible.
3. The promotion of Aliya.
Ws. Mortimer Jacobson, na-
tional president of Hadassah, the
Women's Zionist Organization of
America, announced Tuesday that
the main entrance court of the
Hadassah -Hebrew University
Medical Center in Jerusalem is
to be known as "Ben-Gurion
Square." The announcement was
made at a special Hadassah Bible
study seminar attended by more
than 1,000 members.
Mrs. Jacobson also presented
Ben-Gurion with a check for $1,800
for his Institute of Negev Research.
Certification that the medical
center court is to bear his name
was contained in an illuminated
scroll presented to Ben-Gurion.
Addressing the seminar, Ben-
Gurion paid tribute to the freedom
and equality Jews enjoy in America
but saw in it a danger of assimila-
tion.
The Israeli statesman called up=
on American Jewish parents to send
their children to Israel, conceding
that "it is not so easy" for the
older generation to emigrate to the
Jewish state.
He stressed the importance of
Hebrew in the lives of Jews.
"A Jew who doesn't know He-
brew doesn't know what is a Jew,"
Ben-Gurion said, adding that "the
key to Jewishness is knowing He-
brew."
He paid tribute to Hadassah for
its contributions to the advance-
ment of the state of Israel, not-
ing that his association with the
organization dates back to World
War I.
The United Jewish Appeal pre-
sented Tuesday night a birthday
gift of $1,200,000 to Ben-Gurion
to build a secondary school as part
of the Institute of Higher Studies
at Sde Boker. Some 400 people at-
tended the event.
The gift was announced at the
dinner given in Ben-Gurion's honor
by the public committee for the
celebration of his 80th birthday,
at the Hotel Pierre. Detroiter Max
M. Fisher, UJA chairman, is also
chairman of the Public Commit-
tee.
The Israel Education Fund had
originally sought $1,000,000 for the
high school and that its oversub-
scription by $200,000 represented
a 50th wedding anniversary gift to
the Ben-Gurions. The funds were
raised at two dinner meetings in
Miami and in New York.
Among the donors was Mrs.
Emma Schaver of Detroit.
More than $10,000,000 in giving
was announced here Monday night
by the United Jewish Appeal of
Greater New York at a dinner
formally launching its 1967 cam-
paign with Ben-Gurion as honored
guest.
About 1,200 leading contributors
to the UJA attended the dinner, at
which Ben-Gurion was presented
with the Herbert H. Lehman Me-
morial Award for his "prophetic
vision" and leadership.
Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller made

18—Friday, March 170 196Z

the formal presentation of the
medallion which symbolizes the
New York Jewish community's
tribute to Ben-Gurion at age 80.
Ben-Gurion made a plea on be-
half of one group of those over-
seas depending on the help of UJA-
supported agencies — the immi-
grants who come to Israel from
backward lands "without skills,
without knowledge of life in the
20th Century and without educa-
tion." .
Immigrants from North Africa
and Asia are the equal of any of
Israel's citizens, when they are
given the opportunity to develop
their potential, he said. "Hundreds
of thousands of them have already
taken their places as full partic-
ipants in Israel's modern, rapidly
industrializing, democratic soci-
ety," he stressed.
There must be a great expansion
and intensification of educational
and cultural programs, social serv-
ices and economic assistance to en-
able these immigrants and their
children to achieve full citizenship
in Israel, Ben-Gurion stated.
Two old friends—former Presi-
dent Harry S. Truman and Ben-
Gurion— were reunited by long-
distance telephone Monday. Ben-
Gurion, who had placed his call
earlier in the day, received the
call during a meeting with 75
members of Mahal, an organiza-
tion of Americans who fought as
volunteers in the Israel army,
during the War of Independence.
"I couldn't leave the United
States," Ben-Gurion told President
Truman, "without expressing the
gratitude that our people and Jews
throughout the world feel for what
you have done to help establish the
Jewish State. Our heart is with
you and I know yours is with us.
You have become an immortal in
our country." Ben-Gurion closed
with a "Shanim Rabot"—may you
have many years—and with "Sha-
lom."
Returning to the meeting, he ex-
plained to the Israel war veterans
that Truman did more for Israel
than any other man, noting that
Truman was the first head of state
to recognize Israel and made pos-
sible Israel's first grand-in-aid,
which amounted to $100,000,000.
Earlier in the day Ben-Gurion ad-
dressed an audience of 300 students
and faculty members at the He-
brew Union College-Jewish Institute
of Religion, and appealed to them
to encourage American Jewish
youth and Jewish scientists to
spend at least some part of their
careers studying and working in
Israel.
Ben-Gurion agreed to serve as
quizmaster on the Bible to 200
young Americans, between ages 12
and 16, finalists in the national
Bible contests sponsored by the
Jewish Agency for the past seven
years, at a reception in his honor
on Thursday.
Ben-Gurion met the children fol-
lowing his return from Princeton
University, where he delivered a
lecture at the Woodrow Wilson
School of Public Affairs.
Ben-Gurion will be the guest of
Brandeis University this weekend
when he visits the campus to par-
ticipate in the - university's pioneer-
ing audio-visual program, which is
designed to make the memoirs of
world figures oral and visual his-
torical documents.
Among the topics which Ben-
Gurion will discuss for the "Dret-
zin Living Biographies Program,"
during his three-day stay, will be
his recollections of the turbulent
World War II era and the move-
ment to establish Palestine as
an independent stat.:, and the
Suez crisis.
The interview will be conducted
by the director -of the Institute of
Contemporary History at the
Wiener Library in London, Walter
Laqueur, a visiting professor dur-
ing the spring semester on Bran-

,.THE DETROIT JEWISH ,NEWS.

deis' faculty of Contemporary Jew-
ish Studies.
Ben-Gurion, who last visited
Brandeis in 1960 to receive an hon-
orary degree during a special con-
vocation held in tribute to him,
will be honored at a dinner on the
Brandeis campus today with his
wife. The couple will celebrate
their 50th wedding anniversary at
that time.
Ben-Gurion was awarded an hon-
orary doctor of laws degree by New
York University Wednesday, at a
special convocation held at Wash-
ington Square, Manhattan.
Ben-Gurion then delivered a lec-
ture, "Isaiah's Prophecy for World
Peace," before an audience of 750
students, faculty members, and
civic leaders.
Dr. James Hester, president of
the university, called Ben-Gurion
a "student and thinker as well as
a man of action," and noted that
"his scholarship in the Bible and
in comparative religion is notable."
"Visionary, fighter, scholar, this
young son of the lion, now in his
ninth decade, is a great leader of
his people and one of the leading
citizens of the world," Dr. Hester
said.
In Chicago, Ben-Gurion de-
voted the entire 12th day of his
visit to the opening of an Ameri-
can branch of the World Jewish
Bible Society.
Ben-Gurion, who is president of
the Israel Society for Bible Re-
search, made four appearances at
the founding conference at the
Palmer House of an American Jew-
ish Bible Society, one of which was
his participation in an intensive
90-minute Bible study group dis-
cussion on three chapters -from the
Book of Exodus.
Declaring that the "greatest re-
ward of his American tour will be
the successful establishment of an
American Jewish Bible Society,"
Ben-Gurion proudly reported , the
"key position achieved by Bible
study in Trael" and expressed the
hope that hundreds of Bible study
groups will be founded in the Unit-
ed States.
That his dream may come true,
was indicated by a simple one-sen-
tence resolution unanimously ad-
opted by more than 2,000 partic-
ipants saying: "The modern Jew
must reestablish a close connection
between his deep self and his Bible,
so that together, he can find iden-
tity and strength for Jewishness,
and the Bible can become vital in
his life."
Dr. Hahn M. Gevaryahu, of Jeru-
salem, director of the World Jew-
ish Bible Society Foundation, an-
nounced that the new American
group has already made arrange-
ments for the establishment of the
B-en-Gurion Institute for Advance-
ment of Group Bible Activity at
the College of Jewish Studies in
Chicago, which will also house the
national offices of the American
organization.
He said the American organiza-
tion also hopes to establish 12 sem-
inars at colleges and universities
for the purpose of training discus-
sion leaders of Bible groups.
More than 1,200 Jewish leaders,
the largest group ever to attend a
Jewish fund-raising function in Chi-
cago, jammed the ballroom of the
Pick Congress Hotel Saturday night
to hear Ben-Gurion.
The occasion, the dinner launch-
ing the 1967 drive of Chicago's
Combined Jewish Appeal, netted
the record sum of $2,552,000 in
contributions. This sum represented
a 27 per cent increase over the
gifts these 1,200 contributors gave
in 196d. The drive is seeking
$6,750,000.
The state of Israel and Ben-
Gurion were praised by Fisher,
who called the creation of Is-
rael, in which Ben-Gurion played
a major role, the fulfillment of
a dream that summed up the
longings of 100 Jewish genera-

-

,

• •••••,,

tions. "It was a hope which repre-
sented th'e deepest desire of a
people oppressed and dispos-
sessed for 2,000 years," he said.
Earlier, Ben-Gurion went to the
Circle Campus of the University
of Illinois to speak to the Bnai Brith
Hillel Foundations of Chicago.
Some 1,000 students attended.
Representatives of Chicago's City
Council presented Ben-Gurion with
an embossed scroll reproducing a
City Council resolution, hailing
Israel's eldest statesman as "the
giant of the 20th Century" for his
achievements on behalf of the
state of Israel.
Contrary to these remarks, Ben-
Gurion earlier told 1,000 volunteer
workers at the inaugural dinner o
fthe Los Angeles campaign that no
one man was the architect of pres-
ent-day Israel.
Lauded by chairman Albert Spie-
gel, campaign and dinner chairman,
as the "architect of Kesent-day
Israel," Ben-Gurion said that at
least six outstanding men had con-
tributed to the modern state. He
listed these as including Chaim
Weizmann, Theodor Herzl, and such
unknowns as Charles Netter, who
established the first agricultural
training school in Palestine in 1870,
as well as Baron Edmund_de Roths-
child, who established the first
colonies.
At the dinner the volunteers
were told that a record $2,685,000
in advanced gifts had been pledged
to the welfare fund drive.
Earlier in the day, at the Uni-
versity of California at Los An-
geles, Ben-Gurion found himself
in the midst of a spirited exchange
with Arab students when address-
ing an audience of some 500 at the
college.
Asked by one Arab "if God
asks you a long time from now
why you took the land of the
Arabs in Palestine—and kicked
them out against their will, what
will you reply?" Ben-Gurion
said: "Well,. if God asks me this
question, I will answer him, you
promised this land 4,000 years
ago to Abraham and his chil-
dren."
The audience broke out in cheers
at Ben-Gurion's r e s p o n s e. He
added to the Arab student "We
were there, I think you will agree,
long before you came there."
Ben-Gurion held a number of
private interviews with outstanding
figures in the Los Angeles Jewish
community, with 150 members of
the UJA Young Leaders Cabinet
and Community Service Committee
and other Jewish youth groups in
the Greater Los Angeles area.
The former premier delivered an
address in Hebrew to some 400 stu-
dents and faculty members of the
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Insti-
tute of Religion, University of Juda-
ism, the Hebrew department of
UCLA and other Hebrew-speaking
organizations in the Los Angeles
area. In the evening, he spoke to
3,000 persons gathered inside the
Los Angeles Palladium at a com-
munity-wide tribute to him.
A group of leaders of the Las
Vegas Jewish community told Ben-
Gurion that they would contribute
$100,000 toward the construction
of the high school in Sde Boker.
Seventy-five members of Cali-
fornia Mahal, and some 50 Jewish
Legionnaires who fought with Brit-
ish forces to liberate Palestine in
World War I welcomed Ben-Gurion
at separate meetings following his
arrival in Los Angeles.
The Mahal members, most of
them in their 40, hailed Ben-
Gurion as their former com-
mander-in-chief. The L e g i o n-
naires, most of them in their
late 60s and early '70s, welcomed
him as their former comrade-
in-arms. Both groups presented
checks to the former premier
to be used for schoolbooks and
school materials at his Midrasha
at Sde Baker.

But the enthusiasm of both
groups was turned into embar-
rassed silence when the former
premier asked each in turn "Since
you fought to give an independent
Israel, why haven't you come to
settle among us or send your chil-
dren to Israel?" A number of Ma-
hal members declared that they

still hoped to settle after a while.

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