N.Y. Teacher Union Head Accused of ‘using’ Jewish Community in Strike

An official of the American Jewish Committee said yesterday that anti-Semitism was an artificial issue introduced into the New York City school strike by the United Federation of Teachers and its president, Albert Shanker, who, he charged, were “using the Jewish community” in what is essentially “a labor-management problem.”

Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum, national director of interreligious affairs of the AJ Committee, made his remarks in taping a Columbia Broadcasting System radio program, “World and Religion,” to be broadcast Thursday.

Appearing with him was Rev. C. Herbert Oliver, chairman of the Ocean Hill-Brownsville governing board which the teachers’ union demands be liquidated. Rabbi Tanenbaum denied that the school crisis had generated a Jewish-Negro confrontation. But he urged Negro leaders to “take a position against anti-Semitism unleashed by extremist black leaders from outside the Ocean Hill-Brownsville community.” Rev. Oliver called for the formation of an organization of Negroes and Jews to deal with problems arising from contacts between the two groups. He said he was unaware last spring that all but one of the teachers whom the local school officials wanted transferred were Jewish. The shift of the teachers and the local board’s refusal to reinstate them touched off the first of three school strikes this fall.

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