Treasure Trove: David Matlow reflects on April as ‘Freedom Month’

April 1948, one month before Israel’s proclamation of statehood, was declared Freedom Month by America’s United Jewish Appeal in support of its $250-million campaign. UJA chairman Henry Morgenthau Jr. noted the long and historic association between April and freedom both in Jewish and American history including the holiday of Passover, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, the first shot fired in the American Revolution and the convening of the first U.S. congress in 1789. The campaign funded aid for 250,000 displaced Jews, relief and rehabilitation for another one million Jews in Europe, and immigration and retraining for newcomers to Israel. 

A campaign ad declared “This is a campaign to decide the destiny of a whole people! You are writing history. Write it BIG—as big as this dream come true.”  

During “Freedom Month 2023,” Passover starts at sundown on April 5 and Israel’s 75th birthday is on April 26.