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Governor Roosevelt Condemns Economic Bias Against Jews

Discrimination against Jewish applicants for employment which is being practiced by some employers was deplored and condemned by Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency while he was in Saratoga Springs where he addressed the convention of the Independent Order of Brith Abraham.

Governor Roosevelt said, “I think the only way in which this undesirable situation can be combatted is by educational means. As a matter of fact our continuous educational work that has been done in this regard has made considerable progress and I think we should continue it.”

Asked about the bill introduced into the State Assembly by Assemblyman Louis Lefkowitz, which would make it a misdemeanor for any employer to discriminate against an applicant for employment on account of his race, creed, or color, the Governor stated, “I do not think it is advisable to pass such a bill for it is very hard to establish and to determine whether a certain private employer has refused employment because of racial or other discriminations. Such a law would be just as difficult to enforce as the Volstead act. As a matter of fact such discrimination exists not only against Jews but also against Catholics,” the Governor said, recalling the recent incident of a school teacher in upper New York being rejected because she was a Catholic.

SURPRISED AT DISCRIMINATION

Governor Roosevelt was very much surprised when he was informed about the discriminations against Jewish students in the medical schools of New York City. “This is very surprising to me,” he declared. “Why shouldn’t Jews be admitted to the medical schools just as they are to law schools? I think the Jewish organizations should take up this matter with the State Board of Regents. They will have my hearty support. There is no reason why the medical schools in New York should discriminate against Jewish students.”

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