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President Kennedy Receives Gift of Torah

Nov. 13, 1961 - President Kennedy received the gift of a Sacred Torah from the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in the Rose Garden of the White House today. Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath, who presented the 18th-century scroll to the President, said that the Torah was a “symbol of man’s divinely inspired search for a life of freedom and justice. It contains, as you well know, those teachings which undergird this nation under God.” Turning to Rabbi Eisendrath, the President said: “Rabbi, I am so grateful to you. There is no gift which could please me more.” In accepting the Torah, President Kennedy turned to Secretary of Labor Arthur Goldberg, who is a trustee-elect of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and said: “I’ll ask the Secretary of Labor to translate this for me.”


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