American Jewish Organizations Unite on Five-point Program for Civic Protective Work
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American Jewish Organizations Unite on Five-point Program for Civic Protective Work

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A five-point program of clearance and coordination on Jewish civic protective work in the United States was adopted here today at the close of a three-day conference of the National Community Relations Advisory Council. The conference, attended by representatives of six national and eighteen local community civic protective agencies, elected David Sher of New York as chairman of the Council. The program provides:

1. To study, analyze and evaluate the policies and activities of the national and local agencies.

2. To ascertain the problem areas from time to time.

3. To ascertain the areas of activities of these organizations and to conduct a continuous inventory of their projects.

4. To serve as a coordinating and clearance agency for projects and policies to eliminate duplication and conflict of activities, and to recommend further projects to member agencies.

5. To seek agreement on and formulate policies. Such policies once formulated and adopted, it is expected that the affiliated organizations will adhere to such policies and will not engage in any activities in contravention of such policies.

In his report as executive director, Isaiah Minkoff reviewed the activities of the National Community Relations Advisory Council since its inception on March 19th of this year, and expressed his belief that “the individual agencies should notice the functioning and of the job, and the Noran should concern itself evaluating, analyzing and questioning.”

Discussion among the delegates to the sessions centered about fire papers presented by representatives of the national agencies. Louis Nevins, assistant national directer of the anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, discussed the problems of political anti-Semitism; Rabbi J. I. Cohen, chairman of the Commission on Economic Discrimination of the American Jewish Congress, and Charles Sherman, director of public relations of the Jewish Labor Committee, presented papers on the problems of past-war economic dislocation and its impact upon the position of the Jews; and Dr. John Slawsen, executive vice-president of the American Jewish Committees, and William Wolpert, of the Jewish Labor Committee, reported on recent studies on anti-Semitism and the work being done in the field of scientific research.


Mr. Novins reported that although political anti-Semitism has cropped up in many areas throughout the country, it is nevertheless a fact that as yet political anti-Semitism has been a failure wherever it was introduced. Dr. Sohen and Mr. Sherman both reported the possible dangers confronting Jews through post-war economic dissemination. It was the opinion of the speakers, and the consensus of the delegates, that American Jewry must align itself individually and organizationally with liberal formes and their programs to lessen the import of economic dislocation upon the American people.

Dr. Slawson reported a growing anti-Semitism that he described as “grave” and presented to the delegates a picture of the work being done by a group of social scientist working on near techniques to combat anti-Semitism, Mr. Welpert described an investigation being made among labor groups. Two national agencies — the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S. and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations — and four community agencies — Kansas City, Newark, New Gaven and Bridgeport — were added as members of the NCRAC.


Following a report by Sidney Hollander of Baltimore chairman of the membership committee, a criteria for membership was devised and accepted. The executive committee was authorized to accept local committees for membership if they met the following three requirements.

1.-A Jewish population of 12,000 or more. (Provision was made for smaller communities getting together in a regional setup with the authorization of the executive committee.)

2.-That the applicant city have a community organization supported by the community that concerns itself primarily with the problem of civic protection.

3.-That the applicant city here a professional directing the civic protective activities of the community.

In the case of national organizations, new members must be accepted by a vote of the entire NCRAC at plenary session. The yardstick determined was that of ‘proven effectiveness and extent of activity on the area of community relations.

Immediately following his election, Mr. Sher made a brief statement expressing his confidence in the ability of the NCRAC to prove itself a coordinating the agency of great value to the American Jewish Community. Other officers elected besides Mr. Sher, who is a member of the executive committee of the American Jewish Committee, are, Henry Epstein of the American Jewish Congress, and the president of Jewish Community Council of New Haven.

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