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Anti-jewish Discrimination in America Discussed at Conference of Jewish Social Workers

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Discrimination against Jews in American commerce, industry and the professions, particularly in educational institutions, is the question under discussion at the convention of the National Conference of Jewish Social Workers, which has been opened at Philadelphia to-day.

Jewish educational problems are also being discussed at a Conference of Jewish educational leaders throughout the country which has also been opened to-day at Philadelphia.

Anti-Jewish discrimination was noticed in employment and in colleges in the United States, it was stated in the report presented by the Administrative Committee to the Conference of the American Jewish Congress held in Philadelphia last October. During the past year, numerous communications were received by the Congress regarding the humiliating experiences to which Jewish students were subjected because of the prevalence of anti-Jewish discrimination in the manifold phases of academic life in the United States, it proceeded. Unusually difficult has been the position of Jewish candidates for admission to medical schools. Jewish young men who achieved high records in their collegiate work found themselves shut out when they applied for admission to medical schools. Very often students could not gain entrance into the medical college of the universities in which they had pursued their undergraduate work. As a result, these young men, disillusioned and highly offended, have had to turn to institutions at a great distance from their homes. In recent years many have had to cross the ocean to find an opportunity to prepare themselves for their chosen vocation, despite the fact that they had attained excellent pre-medical records.

Figures on the growth of discrimination against Jews in employment were made public about the same time by Rabbi J.K. Cohen, Chairman of the Committee on Economic Discrimination of the American Jewish Congress. The investigation conducted vy this Committee, he said, has shown that 91 of 100 Employment Agencies visited by Jewish investigators posing as applicants for positions as book-keepers, clerks, stenographers, and the like, informed them that they were unacceptable because they were Jews.

Eighty-nine per cent. of 400 prominent corporations and business establishments in New York prefer Christians only as their employees, Rabbi Cohen declared. Conditions will become even more serious, he said, unless definite remedial measures are evolved.

The subject of discrimination in employment was discussed at conferences held in New York in December 1930, and January 1931, of representatives of national Jewish organisation of a National Conference on Jewish Employment of which Mr. Alfred M. Cohen, President of the B’nai B’rith, and Dr. I. M. Rubinow, executive director of that body, and Miss Estelle M. Sternberger, executive Secretary of the National Council of Jewish Women, were elected co-secretaries. The participating organisations, besides the B’nai B’rith, are the American Jewish Congress, the Jewish Welfare Board, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Independent Order B’rith Abraham, and the United Hebrew Trades.

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