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Jewish Merchants Hard Hit, Take Brunt of Losses in Washington Rioting

Jewish organizations discussed here today intensification of implementation of Negro rights goals was Washington representatives of groups pressed Congress to act on stalled legislation in the wake of the riot that erupted here last week.

Many synagogues are acting as collecting points for food contributed by members to relieve hunger in the devastated areas. This is in keeping with the policy of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington to help bind the wounds of the disaster. Joseph Danzansky, a leader of the newly formed Urban Coalition of the business community, religious groups, and other public elements, is organizing emergency measures to provide food for the poor and timeless. He is the head of the “Giant” supermarket chain.

The prevailing opinion in the Washington Jewish community is that anti-Semitism was not a factor of any importance in the looting of Jewish-owned stores. Scores of Jewish-owned clothing, appliance, grocery, delicatessen, liquor and jewelry stores were ravaged and burned. A special target was the so-called “easy credit” merchant of the 7th Street, N.W. area.

The areas hardest hit by the rioting, center of the Negro “ghetto,” were Jewish neighborhoods to a considerable extent until the late 1940’s. Synagogues had been abandoned and transformed into Negro churches when Jews emigrated to the suburbs. But many Jewish merchants retained businesses at the old locations.

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