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Brooklyn College Administration Seeking Ways to Reduce Jewish-black Tensions

Dr. John W. Kneller, president of Brooklyn College, assured leaders of the American Jewish Congress this week that he would not hesitate to use an injunction against any militant group on the campus that engaged in violence. The American Jewish Congress group met with Dr. Kneller to express concern over the recent open conflict at Brooklyn College between black and Jewish students. In May several hundred Jewish and black students were involved in a melee shortly after Rabbi Meir Kahane, chairman of the Jewish Defense League, delivered a speech at the Student Center on the plight of Soviet Jewry. Brooklyn College obtained an injunction barring Rabbi Kahane and JDL-non-student members from the college campus. Dr. Kneller disclosed that kosher kitchen facilities would be made available to serve the needs of the large Orthodox student body at the college, leaders of the AJCongress’ Metropolitan Council reported. Of a total student body of some 28,000 in the day and evening sessions, some 18,000 are Jewish. Of these 18,000 some 5,000 are Orthodox. Dr. Kneller also said that a representative intergroup council would be created to reduce Negro-Jewish tensions on the campus. The AJCongress group expressed concern over the extent of “separatism” among the students on the campus. They were told by Dr. Kneller that Brooklyn College denied the right of any group to declare parts of the campus or student activity buildings off bounds to any other group. Dr. Kneller told the AJCongress leaders that the college sought to be responsive to the needs of all groups on campus and that it felt “a responsibility to the community as well as to its students to advance the goals of quality education for all.”

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