DETROIT (Dec. 11)
Staff members of Jewish community agencies have announced formation of a new peace group, the Coalition of Concerned Jews, to act on “the whole range of human misery, combatting apathy, particularly among Jews, and the growing limitations on human freedoms.” The announcement said, “for us, as Jews, our responsibilities lie not only in our commitment to our fellow humans but from our actions taken toward realizing that end.”
The peace group sponsored an advertisement in the current issue of the Jewish News of Detroit, under the heading of “Chanukah Greetings.” The advertisement declared that “our world today is beset by monstrous human suffering made the more horrible by the massive apathy to that misery. We call on our fellow Jews–martyrs to tyranny by their very existence–to speak out now against man’s ever mounting crimes against man. Start celebrating freedom by demanding peace.”
The coalition said it was focussing on the Dec. 12-13 moratorium and on the need “to end the war in Vietnam as the first step in alleviating human suffering.” The group developed from a nucleus which signed an earlier advertisement in the English-Jewish weekly on Nov. 7 calling for an end to the war. The coalition statement said that “the response” was “overwhelming. Not only did the Jewish community send its own bus to Washington but it also ‘populated’ other buses” to the moratorium demonstration in November.
The statement added that “the moral support and encouragement we have received from some in the Jewish community convinces us of the need for something more permanent, with ongoing concerns and a program of its own.” Spokesmen said the new group was planning events for the Jewish community,” as well as public events for the general community.” They said the coalition would cooperate with other groups to demonstrate a “Jewish presence” in the concerns over” these crucial issues.” The spokesman stressed that while the original members came from Jewish agency staffs, membership in the new group did not represent policy of those agencies.