People gather in the streets of Tel Aviv after radio broadcasts announce the UN partition plan, Nov. 30, 1947 (File photo)
People gather in the streets of Tel Aviv after radio broadcasts announce the UN partition plan, Nov. 30, 1947 (File photo)

‘State of Israel Is Born! The Challenge We Face’

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From an editorial in this publication (then the Jewish Community Bulletin), May 21, 1948:

A Jewish nation, the State of Israel, has come to join the nations of the world. A momentous chapter has been added to the brilliant history of our people.

an image of the original page this editorial appeared onAfter nearly 2,000 years, a Jewish state exists again proclaimed in a crucial hour and recognized at once by our own United States.

The dream of Zionists since the days of the first World Jewish Congress in 1897 has come true.

New hope springs in the hearts of thousands of homeless men and women in the displaced persons camps of Europe — to thousands more surviving the tragedy of war and praying for heaven in the Holy Land. Already some are entering Palestine. A new day dawns for the pitiful remnant of European Jewry.

Born amid the thunder of battle, the new state now fights for its survival. Staunch hearts and strong bodies are pitting themselves against the invader. The United Nations has been called on for help. We pray that a way will be found to bring an early restoration of peace.

And now that a Jewish state is a fait accompli, we Jews in America face a tremendous challenge. It is a challenge to make Israel a model among the nations of the world — to make it a state reflecting the lofty ideals of Judaism, a land that will contribute to humanity all that is great in Jewish traditions, in philosophy, in culture, in letter and the sciences.

To that end we must dedicate ourselves. Let us work together constructively, with unity instead of dissension, as one people, united by a common heritage now united again by a common responsibility.

Let us remember that the United States has recognized the State of Israel and we must support our government.

Naturally, we Jews in America will continue to serve our own country as we have in the past — as loyal citizens of our great land. Every other Jew in every other country will continue serving the nation to which he owes undivided loyalties. But that will not keep us from exerting our influence and our help toward making Israel what it must be a — symbol of all that is rich and noble in Jewish tradition.