Boston (Oct. 31)
The American Jewish Committee announced here that it will embark on a one-year project to define the problems besetting young, white American industrial workers and focus the energies of government and private agencies on their solution. The announcement was made by Robert D. Gries, head of the AJCommittee’s National Committee on Ethnic America, at the week-end meeting of the AJCommittee’s policy-making National Executive Council. The new venture, long in the planning stages, will be financed by a grant from the US Dept. of Labor and will be carried out in cooperation with the National Committee on Employment of Youth. It is part of the AJCommittee’s National Project on Ethnic America directed by Irving M. Levine.
Explaining the project’s goals, Levine said that young white industrial workers constitute the largest single group whose needs have not been considered until now. “Young workers.” Levine said, “are increasingly burdened with serious problems of dehumanized work, low production, alcoholism, narcotics addiction…with hostility both to their unions and their bosses on the job, and altogether with a great deal of alienation….We hope to focus the attention and energies of government and private agencies on their problems and this help defuse a potentially violent threat to the stability of our society,” he said.
Addressing another area of concern. Bertram H. Gold, executive vice-president of the AJCommittee called on the Jewish community in the US to work for social change within the framework of existing society. He said that while reform for the improvement of mankind was part of the Judaic tradition, Jews have always rejected “the quest for an instant utopia and overnight salvation.” He said American Jewish efforts must lie in the direction of working “constantly to change those aspects of the status quo that demean and degrade any group of people, that interfere with the full and free expression of ideas and opinions, that denegrate the dignity of man.”