New York (Jun. 20)
Details of a new scientific attack on anti-Semitism and other minority problems in the United States were announced here today by the American Jewish Congress which has created a Commission on Community Interrelations to carry out the job. The attack is based on a two-fold approach — to study the reasons for tension and conflict and to conduct an action program to overcome religious and racial frictions.
The American Jewish Congress has underwritten its new commission for a period of five years of operation. Charles E. Hendry, former national director of research for the Boy Scouts of America, is coordinator of research in charge of over-all operations. Associate coordinator is Bernard Gittelson, who was director of research for New York State’s commission Against Discrimination which drafted New York’s recently- enacted anti-discrimination law.
A feature of the undertaking is a close tie-up that has been arranged with a new agency, the Rogosin Foundation, also set up for a period of five years to carry out a leadership training program for key men and women in various American communities. Persons eligible to participate will be brought to New York for special courses in community relations. The Foundation is financed by Israel Rogosin, New York textile manufacturer, and functions under Mr. Hendry’s general direction.
The Commission on Community Interrelations grew out of a Conference to Combat anti-Semitism called by the American Jewish Congress in New York last year. Jewish leaders who attended from all parts of the country agreed that more intensive effort and new tools must be brought into the fight against anti-Semitism. A “task force” composed of skilled fact-finders and social action people is assigned to each action-research project on which the Commission works. Their assignment is to find out the facts underlying the conflict, then put the facts into action by helping groups resolve their differences.
The commission was organized by Dr. Kurt Lewin, a native of Germany who came to the United States in 1932. Dr. Lewin was formerly professor of Child Psychology at the University of Iowa and on the faculties of Cornell and Stanford Universities. He has been counselor to the Division of Program Surveys of the U.S. Department of Agriculture since 1942 and until early this year was with the Office of Strategic Service in Washington.