NEW YORK (Nov. 2)
A study by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith showing that only three and one-half percent of high executive officials of commercial banks in New York City are Jews was cited today as “strong, almost incontrovertible evidence of religious discrimination” in a city with a population 25 percent Jewish.
The findings and the charge were presented at a hearing of a special subcommittee on labor of the Committee on Education and Labor of the U.S. House of Representatives by Moses L, Kove, chairman of the New York regional advisory board of the ADL.
Mr. Kove said that the study of eight of the largest commercial banks showed that of a “total roster of 844 officers of the rank of vice-president and above, only 30 were of the Jewish faith” and of the 30, 22 were in two banks and seven in a third. One bank had one Jewish high executive and the remaining four had none, he said. The study found 197 persons on the boards of the eight banks of whom three were Jews.
Mr. Kove also told the subcommittee about an ADL survey which found that “the ancient habit of discrimination” still persisted in the life insurance industry. He said the latter report found some liberalization in employment of Jewish executives in life insurance sales functions but that home office executive staffs showed a “clear pattern of discrimination against Jews.”
The study, which covered seven major life insurance firms, found that 6.2 percent of all executive employees in branch offices, concerned mainly with sales, were Jews but in home offices, only 3.6 percent were Jewish. The study also found that branch offices of insurance companies were most likely to hire Jews where sales were sought in cities with large Jewish populations.
Five of the seven firms had both home offices and sales branches in Greater New York and in the New York sales branches 10 percent of executive personnel were Jews and only 4.1 percent in the home offices.