WASHINGTON (Jul. 6)
The National Center for Jewish Policy Studies, nicknamed “Nats Gnats” for Nathan Lewin, Supreme Court expert and vice president of the National Committee on Law and Public Affairs (COLPA), who is their head advisor, has announced its incorporation. The Board of Directors includes Myer Feldman, a Johnson-Kennedy White House advisor; Marshall Nirenberg, a Nobel laureate; Ban Wattenberg, author and political scientist; author Victor Lasky; Steven Levisohn, a National Institute of Health researcher, and Harvey Lieber, professor and political scientist.
In mid-May the group placed A. David Stern of Brooklyn in the office of Sen. Henry Jackson (Dem., Wash.) as a researcher on Russian Jewry problems. Stern put together an extensive study of Voice of America broadcasting programs, policies and scheduling. Suzanne Last, a Princeton sophomore, joined Stern last month. “I was sick and tired of yelling about Soviet Jewry and going to rallies–I wanted to do something to really help,” she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. She is studying Jewish financial support of politicians to see if large Jewish contributors necessarily support politicians with the best records on matters of Jewish interest. One of the directors and founders, Steven Levisohn, views the Gnats as “Jewish Naders Raiders” who will research and analyze the quality of Jewish life and culture here and abroad. He says that they are focusing on the problems of Russian Jewry and related projects like Voice of America broadcasting in Yiddish.
David Butler of Pittsburgh who is president of the Yeshiva College Student Council, Henry Feuerstein, a Bostonian who also attends Yeshiva University, and Harvey Stone, a Harvard law student, joined Gnats last month. The group made its headquarters in Lewin’s office. They brief groups and individuals visiting Washington on the status of efforts on behalf of Soviet Jews in government and what can be done. The Gnats receive no salaries, but get free room and board, a courtesy of the Washington Jewish community. Feuerstein and Butler house-sit for a vacationing director, Allen Schick, an economist at Brookings Institution. The Gnats don’t see themselves in competition with established Jewish organization efforts. Miss Last told the JTA that the organizations have neither the time nor the resources for extensive directed research. The directors hope other Jewish organizations will use Policy Center studies to effect change and help Russian Jews.