WASHINGTON (Jun. 27)
The American Jewish Committee today became a member agency of the National Community Relations Advisory Council, coordinating body of Jewish community relations organizations. The number of national agencies affiliated with NCRAC was thus increased to nine.
Announcement of the affiliation was made by Philip E. Hoffman, chairman of the board of governors of the American Jewish Committee, and Aaron Goldman, chairman of the NCRAC, at a closing session of the NCRAC plenary meeting. The affiliation followed formal action by the AJ Committee board of governors which ratified an earlier executive board vote, and by the NCRAC’s executive committee.
The event is significant in terms of organizational relationships, bringing together all the major Jewish bodies in the field of community relations for consultation and coordination. Other agencies affiliated in NCRAC are the American Jewish Congress, B’nai B’rith Anti Defamation League, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish War Veterans, National Council of Jewish Women, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, United Synagogue of America, and 79 Jewish community councils in cities throughout the country. The number of affiliated Jewish community councils was increased from 78 to 79 by the election to membership of the Tucson, Arizona Jewish Community Council at today’s closing NCRAC session.
The American Jewish Committee, which had been one of the charter members of the NCRAC, withdrew from membership in 1952, following a study that recommended a division of functions among the member agencies of the Council — a recommendation the AJCommittee felt would limit its autonomy and freedom of action. It was accompanied in its withdrawal by the B’nai B’rith-Anti Defamation League, which rejoined the NCRAC last year.
Mr. Hoffman, said the Committee’s reaffiliation was made possible through mutual accommodation of the Committee policies with those of the NCRAC through a series of negotiations. “The NCRAC present policies provide for fruitful consultation while assuring the autonomy of each of its member agencies, ” he declared. NCRAC chairman Goldman termed the reaffiliation of the Committee “a most welcome and gratifying asset to cooperative endeavors among Jewish community relations agencies.”
Mr. Hoffman said that in joining the NCRAC his group was “pleased to be entering into a cooperative relationship with other Jewish organizations pursuing similar general objectives of better human relations, human rights and human freedoms. The times challenge us all to use our knowledge, judgment and resources as wisely as possible in taking advantage of the enormous opportunities now open for the furtherance of those objectives.”
Mr. Goldman said “All of us are engaged in a common cause, that of making equality of opportunity, freedom of opportunity, freedom of conscience and equal justice under law realities in American life, of improving relationships among groups in our free society, and of fostering creative Jewish living. We in the NCRAC regard voluntary cooperation among independent Jewish organizations as vital to the attainment of that common cause. The wisdom of our joint judgments will be enhanced by the wise counsel and large resources that the American Jewish Committee can contribute to our processes.”