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Jewish Groups Urge Investigation of Destruction of Negro Church

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy was urged, in a joint statement by the American Jewish Congress, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A., Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and United Synagogue of America,” to establish without delay the facts” in the recent destruction of a Negro church in Lee County, Georgia.

This statement was released through Lewis H. Weinstein, chairman of the National Community Relations Advisory Council, the coordinating body for the above 6 national agencies and 62 local, state and regional Jewish community councils throughout the U.S. The agencies “were appalled by reports of the possible bombing of a house of worship,” and asked the Department of Justice “to determine whether there was a connection between the tragedy and the fact that this church was being used to educate Negro voters on the importance of exercising their franchise.”

The Jewish bodies stated that “if it is established that a bombing took place, it would be further proof of the lengths to which some extremist groups will go to deprive Americans of their constitutional freedoms, and in such event we urge that no effort be spared to apprehend the criminals. Only through such unhesitating action can we serve effective notice of our government’s determination to protect all citizens in the exercise of their right to vote.”

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