Kennedy Watching Treatment of Jews in Russia; Keeps Eye on Egypt
Menu JTA Search

Kennedy Watching Treatment of Jews in Russia; Keeps Eye on Egypt

Download PDF for this date

President Kennedy indicated today that he may consider friendly intervention with the Soviet authorities to relieve pressures on Jews in the Soviet Union. He also indicated that he was observing the Egyptian rocket build-up, with an appreciation of Israel’s concern.

The President expressed his sentiments to National Commander Morton London, of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States, who was received in the White House, Citing the prospect of a thaw in American-Soviet relations, Mr. London told the President that the time might be ripe for Presidential intercession with Soviet leaders on behalf of Russian Jews.

Mr. London cited a recent State Department letter to the JWV, containing evidence of the increasing persecution of Jews in Russia. President Kennedy made it apparent that he would give the Russian Jewish situation further thought, and that he was concerned.

In his half-hour meeting with the President, Mr. London also cited aspects of the Egyptian military build-up, and contended that the State Department may not have properly evaluated developments. Mr. Kennedy then revealed that he was following the situation very closely. His response was attentive, sympathetic, and encouraging, said Mr. London.

The JWV commander commended the President on his liberal immigration proposals to phase out the national origins quota system. The President appreciated the support of the Jewish community on immigration reform and on his civil rights program. Mr. London told Mr. Kennedy that the JWV would try to help implement integration by participating actively in local bi-racial committees and on the legislative front. Mr. London was accompanied by Felix Putterman, JWV national legislative director.

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