Washington (Dec. 31)
Judge Nathan Cayton of the Municipal Court who was appointed by President Coolidge several years ago has brought down upon his head a wave of local Jewish indignation as a result of an address which he delivered Friday night at Adath Israel Synagogue charging the existence of a “Jewish crime wave” and alleging that Jews of America have produced far more than their share of criminals and that “during the past decade we have definitely failed to perform our duty as Jews and Americans.”
On Saturday morning Washington Jews read extensive accounts of the speech in newspapers with dismay and astonishment scarcely believing that a Jewish judge could have made such statements although it is understood that Judge Cayton released his speech to the press in advance.
The Jewish community was especially perturbed because of the prominence given to the address in this, the seat of government where numerous legislators, foreign diplomats and other officials must have noticed and received an erroneous impression from the report of the speech.
Vigorous replies to Cayton have already been published in the press by Louis E. Spiegler, president of the Washington Zionist District and Rabbi Gedaliah Silverstone. Both of them denied the existence of a Jewish crime wave. Spiegler said “Judge Cayton’s charges have no basis in fact. There is no Jewish crime wave, although of course the number of Jewish criminals has increased proportionately to the general increase in crime. Neither is there any basis for the statement that Jews ‘have failed in their duty as Americans.’ Statistics of the accomplishments of Jews during the past ten years show that they have done their part as citizens in every field.”
Rabbi Silverstone insisted that charges of an increase in crime among American Jews were erroneous and far