MIAMI (May. 18)
The Opera Guild of Greater Miami has made a formal pledge that it will end a practice of holding some of its functions in facilities which bar Jews, the Florida regional office of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith has announced.
The agreement ended a struggle between the Opera Guild and Miami Jewish organizations which had lasted for almost 10 years. In a letter to the ADL office, Graham Miller, Opera Guild secretary, said that henceforth the Guild “will not hold any meetings, including committee meeting and functions, at any private club that discriminates against Jewish people.” Miller said that the decision was reached at a Guild executive board meeting last week.
Judge William L. Pallot, chairman of the regional ADL board, said the “constructive action” followed a series of conferences between leaders of the ADL and the Opera Guild.” He said the meetings “explored fully the discriminatory practices of a number of social clubs in the Miami area in barring applicants from membership solely on religious grounds.” He added that those findings were “related to groups like the Opera Guild which have occasionally used the facilities of such discriminatory clubs for their own fundraising and other functions.” One of the groups was the Surf Club, which bars Jews as members.
The judge added that, in ending the practice, the Opera Guild had “rejected a form of religious prejudice which is most distasteful to the total community regardless of religious persuasion.” He said the Guild action also “serves the useful purpose of making fair-minded people everywhere more aware of the importance of judging others on their individual qualifications.”