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15 Jews Elected to House of Representatives in National Elections

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An initial survey of national election returns today disclosed that the House of Representatives members of Jewish faith, who offered themselves for reelection, all retained their seats, and that at least one new Jewish Congressman was elected.

The total number of Jewish members of the House elected was 15 — the same total that existed during the 89th Congress. However, it is possible one or more additional new Congressmen may turn out to be Jewish when more information is available here.

Only one change took place in the composition of the number of Jews serving in the House. In Philadelphia’s 4th District, where incumbent Democratic Rep. Herman Toll retired last year, Democrat Joshua Eilberg, 45, received 96, 692 votes, to defeat Republican Robert B. Cohen, who had 92,476. Thus, the retirement of Rep. Toll resulted in the election of another Jew — keeping the believed total of Jews constant in the House.

It was an off-year for all three Jewish Senators whose terms of office did not expire this year. They are: Senator Jacob K. Javits, New York Republican; Senator Ernest Gruening, Alaska Democrat; and Senator Abraham Ribicoff, Connecticut Democrat.

The total number of Jews in Congress remains 18 — unless the number is increased when more facts are available about newly-elected Congressmen. All members of the House of Jewish faith are Democrats, with the lone exception of Rep. Seymour Halpern, of Queens, N. Y., who has served since 1959. Sen. Javits is also a Republican, the only member of his party of Jewish background in the Senate. The new Jewish Congressman, Representative-elect Eilberg, of Philadelphia, served previously in the Pennsylvania State Legislature.

The Jewish incumbents reelected were Representatives Halpern, Emanuel Celler, Leonard Farbstein, Jacob H. Gilbert, Abraham J. Multer, Richard L. Ottinger, Joseph Y. Resnick, Benjamin Rosenthal, Herbert Tenzer, James H. Scheuer and Lester L. Wolff, all of New York; Sidney R. Yates, Illinois; Samuel N. Friedel, Maryland; and Charles S. Joelson, New Jersey.

Jews figured in a number of state and local contests with varied results. Milton Shapp, a Democrat, ran for Governor of Pennsylvania but lost to the Republican Lieutenant Governor, Raymond F. Shafer.

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