NEW YORK (Nov. 3)
The Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York declared last night that it will have nothing to do with the Jewish Defense League, “an irresponsible group that is openly attempting to damage Federation and to interfere with our efforts to support the vital services of our 130 member institutions.” The statement was made by Sanford Solender, executive director, after 12 JDL members, headed by their leader. Rabbi Meir Kahane, invaded the Federation’s Manhattan offices, seized the telephone switchboard and refused to permit the staff to leave. The JDL members left without incident after an hour when police arrived but threatened to return and to appear at the home and office of George H. Heyman Jr., Federation president and at the home of Mr. Solender. The JDL. in a mimeographed flyer, accused Federation leaders of propagating “assimilation” and “ignoring the two most serious Jewish problems today–Jewish education and Jewish defense.” The JDL demanded an immediate allocation of $6 million for Jewish education, primarily for Jewish day schools and $200,000 for private “safety patrols in crime-ridden Jewish neighborhoods.”
Mr. Solender noted that the Federation “is prepared to meet with any responsible group in the Jewish community to discuss the program, policy and philosophy of the organization” but not with a group that spreads “untruthful and distorted statements” and “pickets our fund-raising institutions.” He said “The JDL insists that Federation allocate funds for a private defense force. We have recorded our opposition to any such vigilante movement. The protection of citizens and property is the responsibility of the city police force and we are in continuous communication with the police department about matters affecting the safety of Jewish neighborhoods.” Mr. Solender pointed out that the Federation presently distributes more than $1 million to the Board of Jewish Education for direct Jewish educational services and more than a half million dollars additionally to Federation agencies for cultural and educational programs. “As an organization of the Jewish community, with a responsibility to the entire Jewish community, we will not permit ourselves to be intimidated or our work jeopardized by the tactics of the Jewish Defense League,”Mr. Solender said.