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Jewish Groups Attack House Committee on Un-american Activities

Jewish religious groups today withdrew their offer to consult with the House Committee on Un-American Activities and expressed sharp dissatisfaction with the procedure of the Committee and “disquiet regarding its Constitutional competence to investigate in the area of religion.”

In a joint telegram to Committee chairman Harold Velde, the presidents of the Reform, Orthodox and Conservative groups and the Synagogue Council of America, coordinating body for all Jewish religious groups in the U.S., pointed out that they had originally offered to consult with Mr. Velde because they assumed that he wished to consult with the “duly constituted representatives of the religious Jewish community” along with Protestant and Catholic religious bodies.

The synagogue groups noted that Mr. Velde had neither replied to, nor acknowledged, their offer of November 2. “Not having heard from you,” they declared, “we can only conclude that you did not wish to confer with the representatives of the Jewish religious bodies in America.”

The statement continued: “In view of this, we are informing you that we are withdrawing our offer which, in any event, we believe is no longer in effect, and express our regrets that we did not have the opportunity to convey to you our dissatisfaction with the procedures of your committee and our disquiet regarding its constitutional competence to investigate in the area of religion.”

Signatories to the statement were Dr. Maurice N. Eisendrath, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations; Maxwell Abbell, president of the United Synagogue of America, Rabbi Normal Salit, president of the Synagogue Council of America, and Max J. Etra, president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations.