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Jdl, Hra Officials Confer on Problems of Jewish Poverty

Thirty-five members of the Jewish Defense League, including national chairman Rabbi Meir Kahane, arrived unannounced yesterday afternoon at the offices of the city’s Human Resources Administration to protest city “indifference to Jewish poverty.” HRA officials conferred with a 10-member JDL delegation and agreed to initiate a series of meetings on the problem. The first meeting will be held next Tuesday. Joseph Aguayo, special assistant to Jules Sugarman, head of the HRA and Commissioner of Social Services, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that although the JDL’ers had arrived unannounced, there was “no disturbance of any kind.” He called the meeting with the JDL delegation a “highly productive consideration of valid issues…very, very critical concerns.” He said there was “no pressure or anything.”

The JDL charged that Jews represent 12 percent of New York’s poor but receive less than 2 percent of anti-poverty funds; that 15 of the 26 official anti-poverty areas of the city have “sizeable” Jewish populations but only two have “proper Jewish representation on local community corporation boards,” and that some “pockets of Jewish poverty” are denied anti-poverty funds. The JDL rejected “Establishment control” of local Jewish community groups, and demanded that the HRA report on the problem be made public. Aguayo told the JTA that he agreed with Rabbi Kahane that the problem existed and that there was not enough anti-poverty money being made available to alleviates it. He said that as the HRA received documentary evidence on the matter from the JDL and the Association of Jewish Anti-Poverty Workers, it would be better able to “make a case again to Washington” for increased funds relieving the plight of the poor.

Aguayo added that Sugarman is continuing to decline comment for now on the Aug. 18 charge by S. Elly Rosen, director of the Association of Jewish Anti-Poverty Workers, that Sugarman was “destroying our neighborhoods” by “dumping multiple fatherless families” there and leaving the areas ripe for block-busters, unscrupulous realtors who seek to make profits on white fears of black neighbors. Rosen’s charge was made while Sugarman was on vacation, but the HRA chief has since returned here. Last night, Rabbi Kahane announced the JDL’s intention to arm residents of the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, launch a fleet of radio car patrols and post armed sentries in stores to prevent further acts of violence against the residents. He said that while the JDL was interested chiefly in protecting Jews,” we will make these patrols interracial, because there are Negro residents of this neighborhood who suffer from hoodlums too. ” He spoke after visiting the home of Beno Spiewak, a 60-year-old candy store owner who was shot to death last Friday by two gunmen who were angered because he had no apple pie. The victim’s wife, Helen, 49, who was critically wounded, has identified the gunmen as two black youths.

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