Hadassah Conference Urges Members to Back Civil Rights Legislation

The 318,000 members of Hadassah were urged today by leaders of the organization to make their views known “as individual Americans” on the pending civil rights legislation now before Congress by communicating with their Congressional representatives.

The appeal was contained in a statement approved by 200 delegates to Hadassah’s annual midwinter conference meeting here. The statement declared that “the enactment of effective and realistic legislation by this session of Congress is a moral issue and is imperative for guaranteeing to all citizens their constitutional rights and for enhancing the image of America at home and abroad.”

The delegates, representing 1,320 chapters and groups throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, also called on Congress to remove “the defects and inequalities” of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, popularly known as the McCarran-Walter Act. The delegates declared that the act “embodies policies and principles entirely out of harmony with the American tradition of offering a haven to the oppressed, and of equality and of Justice.”

The delegates also endorsed proposals made by President Johnson in his State of the Union message, including creating of a National Service Corps, providing school aid funds, and particularly his call for a policy on abolishing “not some but all racial discrimination.”

Congressional support of revisions of Public Law 480, governing American surplus goods, under which Israel has received substantial gifts of such goods, and extension of this legislation for another live years, was also urged.

Hadassah’s medical work in Israel was discussed by Mrs. Herman Shulman, chairman of the Hadassah Medical Organization Committee in the United States. She reported on Hadassah efforts to help African nations meet various problems of public health. She said 14 girls from Nyasaland have started a three-year nursing course at the Henrietta Szold-Hadassah School of Nursing in the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Mrs. D. Leonard Cohen, chairman of the organization’s vocational education committee, said a two-year course for medical and scientific administrative secretaries, the first of its kind in Israel, had been started at Hadassah’s Alice Seligsberg Vocational High School in Jerusalem. She also announced completion of an electronics school in Neurim, the Rural Vocational Center of Hadassah and Youth Aliyah. The school will accommodate 160 students in its hour classrooms. It will open in a few weeks, she said.

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