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Jews Urged to Play Leading Role in Fostering Negro-white Understanding

The American Jewish community has a “priority role” to play in helping to establish “some genuine human communications” between the white and Negro communities, B’nai B’rith president Label A. Katz said last night. He told the centennial convention of B’nai B’rith District 4 that Negroes and whites “are really not talking to or understanding each other,” thereby adding to racial tensions and mistrust.

Mr. Katz, a southerner and native of New Orleans, said the absence of real communications based on “First-hand and hard-headed knowledge of how the other group thinks, lives and acts, leads to vague generalizations and confused images that give root to misunderstandings and hostility. The Jewish community,” he added, “needs to be sensitive to the fact that the country is experiencing nothing less than a revolution in race relations. The Negro community is weary of promises. It wants performance.”

Urging support of civil rights proposals before Congress, Mr. Katz said that the intensity of the protest marches and demonstrations “should be a prod to Capital Hill to overcome its legislative anachronisms and a prod to the white community to accelerate efforts for racial equality. We Jews have to be a responsive part of that white community,” he declared.

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