Jewish Groups Hail Eisenhower for Action Against Discrimination

Major national Jewish religious bodies, national Jewish community relations agencies and local Jewish community relations councils, through their coordinating body, the National Community Relations Advisory Council today commended President Eisenhower on his creation of a new five-member committee, directly responsible to him, to prevent discrimination in government employment.

The new Committee on Government Employment Policy will oversee the government’s regulations against discrimination in hiring, firing, promotion and other aspects of employment, because of race, religion, color or national origin. It replaces the Fair Employment Board which has been a part of the Civil Service Commission. Chairman of the newly-created committee is Maxwell Abbell, Chicago lawyer and businessman who is immediate past president of the United Synagogue of America and a former member of the NCRAC executive committee.

In the letter of commendation to the President, Bernard H. Trager, NCRAC chairman, wrote: “As the largest employer in the nation, the Federal Government should set an example for all other employers in providing equal opportunities to all, regardless of race, color, religion or national origin.

“We are therefore gratified that you have taken this new step to assure nondiscrimination in employment by all government agencies. We trust that the increased stature and prestige that devolves upon the Committee on Government Employment Policy by reason of its responsibility directly to you will enable it to bring about full adherence to the spirit as well as the letter of your Executive Order.

“We trust that it is your intent that the term ‘discrimination,’ as employed in your Executive Order, be construed as covering segregation of government workers by race or color. Surely it would be incongruous, particularly in view of the United States Supreme Court ruling in the school segregation cases, for the Federal Government to tolerate in its own establishment a practice that has been declared by the nation’s highest tribunal to be unconstitutional in the public schools maintained by the states.”

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