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Assaults in Chicago Reflect Crime Situation, Not Anti-semitism

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Acts of hoodlumism in the Lawndale district of Chicago are not confined to Jewish victims but have victimized non-Jews as well, Rabbi Oscar Z. Fasman, president of the Hebrew Theological College and member of the board of the Greater Lawndale Conservation Commission, said today.

Previously, Rabbi Leonard C. Mishkin, educational director of the Associated Talmud Torahs, had published a list of anti-Semitic incidents in the district and protested the breakdown of law enforcement in the district.

The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith also said that recent outbreaks of lawlessness and assaults in the Lawndale area of this city reflect a general crime situation, not anti-Semitism. Following an investigation by its Chicago staff, the ADL pointed out that "whites as well as Negroes, Christians as well as Jews have been the victims of these criminal assaults. Non-Jewish public buildings have had their windows broken as frequently as those belonging to Jews."

Rabbi Fasman said that "there has been no evidence of anti-Semitism but of general lawlessness. Non-Jews have been the victims as frequently as Jews in proportion to population numbers and non-Jewish public buildings have sustained broken windows as frequently as the Jewish."

Rabbi Fasman said that conditions in the Greater Lawndale District "have caused a great measure of alarm among the residents of this area." About 20,000 Jews live in the district. He reported that increased police protection is now being given to the area. He stressed the need for a long-range program involving added public school space, recreational facilities and housing.

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