Three Jews Elected to Senate, Nine to House of Representatives
Menu JTA Search

Three Jews Elected to Senate, Nine to House of Representatives

Download PDF for this date

Three Jews were elected to the United States Senate in the national polling yesterday, and nine others were re-elected to the House of Representatives.

The Jewish members of the Senate of the 88th Congress will be Jacob K. Javits, of New York, a Republican, who was re-elected to a second term by a majority exceeding a million; Ernest Gruening, of Alaska, a Democrat, who was re-elected to a full six-year term, and Abraham A. Ribicoff, Connecticut Democrat.

Rep. Sidney Yates, Illinois Democrat, the fourth Jewish senatorial candidate, was defeated by Sen. Everett Dirksen, Republican majority leader.

All Jewish incumbents seeking return to the House were re-elected. Only one, Rep. Seymour Halpern, New York, is a Republican. Other New York Congressmen re-elected were Representatives Emanuel Celler, sent back for his 21st consecutive term; Leonard Farbstein, Abraham Multer, Jacob H. Gilbert, and Benjamin S. Rosenthal.

Rep. Samuel Friedel was re-elected in Maryland; Herman Toll, in Pennsylvania; and Charles S. Joelson, in New Jersey.

Jews were also elected for various State offices, Among them was New York State Controller Arthur Levitt, who was re-elected to a third term.

A number of new legislators of Jewish interest were elected. They included Ogden R. Reid, New York Republican, who served from 1959 to 1961 as U. S. Ambassador to Israel; and Claude Pepper, Florida Democrat, who won a House seat. He had previously served in the Senate and became known as a leading advocate of Jewish and Zionist causes.


There was only one Jewish candidate in the 35 gubernatorial elections. He is Robert M. Morgenthau, a Democrat, who was defeated by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller in New York. A surprise of the New York elections was the smashing victory of Arthur Levitt, the only Democrat on the state ticket to win. He was re-elected Controller by a majority exceeding 700,000. Attorney General Louis J. Lefkowitz was re-elected on the Republican ticket.

The election campaigns, generally, were free of appeals on racial or religious lines or of attempts to stir racial or religious feeling against candidates. Some anti-Semitic agitation was reported from Alaska against Sen. Gruening. In Illinois, a German American group had appealed for support for Sen. Dirksen against Republican Yates, on racial lines.

In California, where Richard M. Nixon unsuccessfully sought the governorship, he complained that his Democratic rivals had falsely accused him of anti-Semitism. Supporters of Mr. Nixon took newspaper advertisements to appeal to California Jewish voters to support Nixon as a friend of the Jews. The advertisements related that, as Vice-President, Nixon had been responsible for the sudden shift in American policy in the United Nations, when sanctions were being weighed against Israel in the Eichmann case. They also said that Nixon “saved” the tax exemption status for Americans contributing to Israel.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund