NEW YORK (Sep. 17)
A 31-year-old Hassidic rabbi and municipal caseworker has praised the American Jewish Congress for its assistance in gaining him a transfer to another area after he was subjected to anti-Semitic taunts for three months in his assigned area. Rabbi Howard Scheiner, a member of the city’s Social Services Department for three and a half years, was transferred on Sept. 8 to the Bay Ridge center in Brooklyn, his original choice, after complaining of taunts by undesirables while working at the Wyckoff center in the largely black and Puerto Rican Bedford-Stuyvesant and Williamsburg sections of Brooklyn. “I feel that words alone cannot convey my expressions of gratitude to you and the American Jewish Congress for your intervention on my behalf to rectify a potentially dangerous situation that would only have a negative outcome.” Rabbi Scheiner wrote to Herman Brown, director of the AJ Congress’ Metropolitan Council.
Rabbi Scheiner told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that although he wore a business suit and a hat when visiting clients of the Wyckoff center, the drug addicts and alcoholics in the area “can tell who ‘the Jew’ is.” He said it was “very, very difficult for a Hassidic person with a beard to walk into a ghetto neighborhood.” The area covered by the Bay Ridge center, where he is now situated, includes 500 Hassidic families on welfare, according to the AJ Congress.