DEDICATION CEREMONY AT THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR 1964-1965
PAV I LI O N
OCTO BER 14, 1963
Excerpts from transcription of remarks made by
officials of the American-Israel Pavilion and the
Fair at dedication ceremonies for the American-
Israel Pavilion at the New York World's Fair,
October 14, 1963.
The American-Israel Pavilion
is situated at the crossroads of the
Avenues of Asia and Africa, occupy-
ing a site of 14,438 sq. ft. in a land-
scaped section of the International
Area. Rising like a spiral to a height
of forty-two feet, the pavilion will
be faced with redwood mahogany; the
entrances will be decorated with
stones from Jerusalem and King Sol-
omon's Mines and the symbols of the
Twelve Tribes of Israel. In addition to
the historical, cultural and industrial
exhibit, the pavilion will include a
shopping mall for Israeli products and
a snack bar serving kosher foods and
Israeli food specialties.
DR. ROBERTO de MENDOZA [Deputy Chief of
Protocol] Senator Keating, Mr. Straus, Mr. Caplin, Mr.
Sitchin, Mr. Weitz, Mr. Moses, Mr. Beach, distinguished
guests, ladies and gentlemen. A wonderful event has
brought us together this morning: the dedication cere-
mony of the American-Israel Pavilion. Rabbi Harold
Gordon will now give the invocation.
RABBI HAROLD GORDON: O God of all time,
whose spirit fills all space, we come before Thee with
joy and thankfulness as we participate in this dedication
ceremony for the American-Israel Pavilion at the World's
Fair. Since Hebraic mortar cemented the foundations of
American democracy, grant O Lord that both America
and Israel continue to enjoy each other's friendship and
support one another's goals. May the waters that wash
the shores of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic carry-
aloft on the crests of their waves the good tidings of
mutual cooperation and amity.
While others may tear down, we here will build ; while
others may breathe hostility, we here will speak of brother-
hood ; while others may hurl their shafts of war, we here
will stretch forth the hand of peace. May it be Thy will,
O Father, that this building, linking the largest democracy
1963 New York World's Foir 1964-1965 Corporotion
and one of the smallest, will become a beacon light to
the millions from the four corners of the globe who will
come to these grounds for inspiration and edification. We
ask Thy blessing on the creators of this pavilion and its
supporters, the leaders of the World's Fair, and the distin-
guished statesmen who will bring us the message this day.
May our hopes for this structure and the vast collection
of mankind's material and cultural productivity to be
displayed here be realized in a world of peace. Amen.
DR. de MENDOZA: Our first speaker is Mr. Allen E.
Beach, director of International Affairs and Exhibits at
MR. ALLEN E. BEACH; Thank you, Dr. de Mendoza.
Senator Keating, Mr. Caplin, President Moses, distin-
guished guests. Governor Poletti is traveling abroad for
the Fair. I talked to him by phone in Copenhagen yester-
day and he sent this message to read to you here today:
"Please tell Senator Keating, Mr. Caplin, Mr. Straus,
Mr. Sitchin, Mr. Weitz and others present at the ground-
breaking ceremony that I am sorry I could not be present
at this important event. Please also tell them that I am
delighted that there will be an American-Israel Pavilion
at the Fair. This exhibit will have an interesting as well
as significant story to portray to the millions of visitors to
the Fair. This pavilion is also a welcomed and valuable
addition to the International Area. My best wishes for its
success go to all that are there today, and to those who
have worked so hard to make the American-Israel Pavilion
a reality go my heartiest congratulations."
This is the message from Governor Poletti. May I add
my congratulations? Thank you.
DR. de MENDOZA: Thank you, Mr. Beach. Our
next speaker is, as we say, the big boss at the Fair. I have
the honor to give you the Honorable Robert Moses, presi-
dent of the New York World's Fair Corporation.
MR. ROBERT MOSES: Senator Keating, Mr. Straus,
Dr. de Mendoza, friends. I join Governor Poletti in
thanking the American committee which finally brought
about this pavilion.
I've often said that it doesn't make a lot of difference
how big a pavilion is, or how much money is spent on it.
Its outward appearance is important, but it is what is
inside, the imagination and talent that go into the making
of exhibits, that really counts. Of course, there's always
a difference of opinion as to what to emphasize — in this
case, whether you put the emphasis on culture or put it
on science, you have both, and I assume that both will
be tepresented here. I also hope there will be something
about the Dead Sea Scrolls, something about desalination,
atomic energy, and such things that Technion has been
You all know about the Pieca and the Vatican Exhibit.
Protestant organizations are well represented as is every-
thing that touches on religion. As to the countries in the
Near Ease, most of them are in. We've given a great deal
of help and support to the new nations among which this
is one. We've devoted a lot of time to the new republics.
They are new, they are ambitious, they are enthusiastic.
They want to create a good impression. They want to send
their new image around the world. But they lack not only
the money, but the experience. Many of them have com-
paratively little to show, especially on the industrial side.
That s not true of Israel, which has made enormous
progress in those fields, and has a great deal to show.
DR. de MENDOZA: Thank you, Mr. Moses. It is
now my great pleasure to introduce the chairman of the
Board of the American-Israel World's Fair Corporation,
Mr. Harold S. Caphn.
MR. HAROLD S. CAPLIN [Chairman of the Board,
American-Israel World's Fair Corp.}: Thank you, Dr. de
Mendoza. Rabbi Gordon, Senator Keating, Mr. Beach,
Mr. Moses and other distinguished guests. It is with great
pleasure that I welcome you, and I wish to express my
deep appreciation for your presence at this dedication
ceremony of the American-Israel Pavilion. Several months
ago, when I was approached by Mr. Sitchin, Mr. Straus
and Mr. Weitz, and asked to finance this pavilion as an
investment banker, little did I realize what a mark in
history we are making.
As you can see from the sketches of our pavilion, we
hope to enhance, in a special way, the International Section
of the Fair. As Americans we can all trace our history
from other lands. Two thousand years ago, the Romans
conquered Palestine and drove the Jews from that country.
Today, the State of Israel exists as the second largest
Jewish community in the world. The area is just slightly
larger than the State of New Jersey. The United States
has the largest Jewish community in the world, and as
Americans we are proud to take part in the creation of
the American-Israel Pavilion.
We expect that this pavilion will depict history from
thousands of years ago to modern-day Israel. As part of
this history, one cannot help but remember King Solomon,
the son of David, the king under whom Israel reached its
greatest prosperity and glory. Significantly enough, his
name came from "shalom," a Hebrew word meaning
"peace." In the fourth year of his reign, 966 B.C.,
Solomon began building a temple. He finished it in seven
or eight years, and used gold and silver worth as much as
four billion dollars. His extravagant building eventually
led to his downfall.
We here, in recognition of the ultimate destruction of
most pavilions at the end of the Fair, and because we
don't have four billion dollars and seven or eight years to
build, hope nevertheless to create a pavilion at the Fair
which we know will be a great success.
Mr. Moses, Senator Keating, in recognition of your
Memento presented by Mr. Harold S. Caplin, chairman of the
board of American-Israel World's Fair Corporation, to Mr.
Robert Moses and Senator Keating: a stone from King Solo-
mon's Mines with an inscription on a silver plate commemo-
rating the occasion.
being here today, and on behalf of the American-Israel
Pavilion, I take great pleasure in presenting to each of
you a genuine stone taken from King Solomon's Mines in
Israel. These stones are small samples of larger ones
which will grace the entrance walk of our pavilion.
DR. de MENDOZA: Thank you, Mr. Caplin. I now
have the honor to present the president of the American-
Israel Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and chair-
man of the Advisory Board, American-Israel World's
Fair Corporation, Mr. Straus.
MR. NATHAN STRAUS, III. [Chairman of Advi-
sory Board, American- Israel World's Fair Corporation] :
Senator Keating, Mr. Moses, distinguished guests, friends.
I'm here, as you can tell from the introduction, in a dual
capacity. I'm proud to be here in both of them. The initia-
tive for this project came from the Chamber of which I
have been president for the past ten years, since its incep-
tion. We decided, in the Chamber, when the Israel Gov-
ernment determined that it would not participate in this
Fair, that this created a gap which should be filled and
that we should do something about it.
We weren't alone in this opinion. We discussed it with
friends in this country and in Israel. We found not only
agreement, but, I would say, unanimous enthusiasm on
the part of everyone we spoke to. We decided that the
pavilion should perform the function in which the Cham-
ber is primarily interested: to promote Israel's products
Shown above at the dedication ceremony for the American-
Israel Pavilion are: (left to right) Mr. Emil Weitz, vice presi-
dent, secretary and director of the American-Israel World's
Fair Corporation; Mr. Zechariahu Sitchin, president and di-
rector of the American-Israel World's Fair Corporation;
Senator Kenneth B. Keating; Mr. Nathan Straus, III, chairman
of the Advisory Board, American-Israel World's Fair Corpora-
tion; Mr. Robert Moses, president of the Fair; and Mr.
Harold S. Caplin, chairman of the board and director of the
American-Israel World's Fair Corporation.
and services. Buc this is a World's Fair, not simply a trade
fair, and therefore we should have a project which would
also depict the history and culture of the Jewish people
in relation to the Holy Land and the era of the Old
The American-Israel World's Fair Corporation was
therefore formed, and the most important thing in a sig-
nificant venture such as this, is to get proper management
for it. We released Mr. Sitchin from his position as execu-
tive director of the Chamber to become full-time president
of this corporation, and obtained the service of Mr. Weitz
as vice president and manager of the pavilion. We did the
same thing in getting an underwriter to raise the funds
after initial capital was put in by a few of us who initiated
We have Mr. Caplin, who has a fine reputation and
has lived up to it in operating this phase of the venture
on the highest possible level. We have a fine architect,
Mr. Ira Kessler. We have competent builders, Mr. Gold-
man and Mr. Kagan, who report that they are right on
schedule and will get us open on time. We have a capa-
ble interior designer who is doing a good job for us,
Mr. Zvi Geyra. And we are grateful, also, to our attorney,
Judge McGoldrick, who has gotten us through the legal
requirements in fine form.
And we are ready to go. I am confident, as chairman
of the advisory board of this venture, and as president of
the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, that when
this Fair is over and we look back upon the accomplish-
ments of our Chamber for the first decade, this pavilion
will represent the finest single contribution that our Cham-
ber has made to the achievement of its goals during those
first ten years. Thank you very much.
DR. de MENDOZA: Thank you, Mr. Straus. It is now
my privilege and great pleasure to introduce the Honor-
able Kenneth B. Keating, Senator from New York.
SENATOR KENNETH B. KEATING: Dr. de Men-
doza, Rabbi Gordon, Mr. Moses, Mr. Straus, Mr. Caplin
and members of the board of this Corporation. We are
gathered here today to give tangible expression to what
only a short time ago was simply an idea in the minds of
public spirited citizens. In a sense, the creation of the
American-Israel Pavilion is the reflection on a smaller
scale of the inspiration which created the entire Fair.
The recognition that the world's boundaries grow smaller
every day, and that now we must work for closer economic
ties, better understanding and peaceful cooperation with
all nations of the world, was the inspiration for both this
building and for the Fair itself.
The United States, which, it has been pointed out, con-
tains the largest Jewish community in the free world, is
proud of its contribution in helping Israel. With United
States encouragement, Israel has brought its own re-
sources to a state of development at which it now con-
tributes substantially to other new nations seeking higher
material and cultural welfare. And, I might say, if all our
friends and allies did as much proportionately as this
small, courageous State of Israel in assisting the under-
developed countries, we would have quite a different
world in which to live.
The contributions to the western world from the area
which is today Israel actually started, as we all know,
thousands of years ago, for it is this Holy Land of Israel
which contributed the origin of the Judaic-Christian
ethics. It's almost prophetic that this site lies physically at
the corner of the Avenues of Asia and Africa and close
to the Vatican Exhibit and Protestant Center.
This pavilion will be a sculptural expression of the
Hebrew concept of "Aliyah," the surging impulse of hope
rising over despair. The eternal dynamism of those laws
on which our western culture is still based underlies the
architecture of this pavilion. The American-Israel Pavilion
will encourage the viewer to picture himself as part of the
life and times of the people of the Holy Land, so that he
can more readily appreciate the significance of the an-
tiquity and of the sculpture which he will see.
This pavilion is a worthy tribute to the enduring vitality
of the ethical precepts that were born some four thousand
years ago. It is both a personal pleasure and a great privi-
lege for me to be part of the official dedication of this
American-Israel Pavilion. Thank you.
IMdn c i~«m bj (UsS) *"« sum u— i
MR. HAROLD S. CAPLIN, Cho/'rmon of the Board and Director
MR. ZECHARIAHU SITCHIN, President and Director
MR. EMIL WEITZ, Vice President, Secretary and Director
MR. MARTIN WOLMAN, Treasurer
MR. NATHAN STRAUS, III, Chairman of the Advisory Board and Director
MR. MYRON ANGEL, Director
MR. BENJAMIN S. BERKOWITZ, Director
DR. EMANUEL HELLMAN, Director
MR. BERNARD POLAN, Director
MR. MAXWELL M. RABB, Director
IRA KESSLER & ASSOCIATES, INC., Architects
MR. ZVI GEYRA, Art Director
NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR
Flushing, N. Y. 11380 Tel. 212-WF 4-1964
ROBERT MOSES, President
THOMAS J. DEEGAN, JR., Choirman of the Executive Committee
WILLIAM E. POTTER, Executive Vice President
CHARLES POLETTI, Vice President, International Affairs and Exhibits
STUART CONSTABLE, Vice President, Operations
WILLIAM BERNS, Vice President, Communications and Public Relations
ERWIN WITT, Comptroller
MARTIN STONE, Director of Industrial Section
GUY F. TOZZOLI, (Port of New York Authority) Transportation Section
ERNESTINE R. HAIG, Secretory of the Corporation and Assistant to the President
WILLIAM WHIPPLE, JR., Chief Engineer