Menu JTA Search

Judge Mounts Campaign to End Elks Lodge Bias Against Jews

Eight recent Jewish applicants for membership in the Kenosha Elks Lodge were “blackballed” as the lodge continued its “white Christian only” membership policy, according to the Monthly Reporter of the Madison (Wisc.) Jewish Welfare Council. The lodge has 1,100 members, but only one “blackball” is required to deny an applicant membership, the Reporter story said. In its High Holy Day Special Edition, the Reporter said Circuit Judge Harold Bode, who formerly headed the lodge and who is attempting to bring in Jewish members, has threatened to file charges with the national lodge if he can “find out who the bigots are.” The national lodge limits membership to “whites only” but there are no restrictions against Jewish members. The Reporter said that six years ago. when a Jewish member from Green Bay became the Exalted Ruler of all Wisconsin Elks, he was unsuccessful in his attempt to have the Kenosha Lodge change its policy. Despite the condemnation of its policies by members of the clergy, bar and others who refuse to speak before or attend meetings of groups using the lodge facilities, the local lodge has continued its anti-Semitic membership policy, the Reporter said.

NEXT STORY