Gerald R. Ford photo

Statement on the Observance of the Jewish High Holy Days.

September 24, 1976

ON THE occasion of the High Holy Days, Mrs. Ford and I want to express special greetings to our fellow Americans of the Jewish faith.

The celebration of our Nation's Bicentennial has evoked in all Americans a deeper appreciation of our rich and varied ancestral legacy. We have been reminded in a special way that our national character has been shaped by the accumulated wisdom and experience of many nations and individuals.

It is only fitting that we express our pride in the indelible stamp of Jewish wisdom and experience on our way of life. This influence was strong and vital from the moment the American continent became a promised land of hope and opportunity. Our early settlers closely identified with the teachings of the Prophets and dedicated themselves in this spirit to building a land that would make the vision of the Prophets a reality.

This was the spirit that sparked our independence and sustained us through many difficult struggles on the way to becoming a nation. It is also the spirit that has sustained the Jewish people and brought about the creation of the modern state of Israel. It is the same spirit that marks the special friendship of the American and Israeli people and guides us in our commitment to preserve the independence and security of both our lands.

American Jews can take satisfaction in their unsurpassed record of humanitarian concern, civil responsibility, and devotion to justice. As individuals, and through their organizations, they have worked tirelessly and unselfishly to live up to the faith of their fathers and the aspirations of the Founding Fathers of our country. With this in mind, Mrs. Ford and I extend our best wishes for a prosperous, satisfying, and happy New Year.

Gerald R. Ford, Statement on the Observance of the Jewish High Holy Days. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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