NEW YORK (Dec. 19)
The New York Federation of Reform Synagogues reported this weekend it had received assurances from the Lindsay administration that it would accept formation of a citizens committee to have a major role in establishing all policies concerning the proposed 840-unit low-income housing project which has split the predominantly Jewish community in Forest Hills. Queens.
Rabbi Robert J. Marx, director of the New York Federation, and Mrs. Anita Miller, housing consultant to the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, told a meeting of the group’s executive board several days ago that Simeon Golar, chairman of the City Housing Authority, agreed to that proposal at a meeting last week in his office.
Formation of such a committee was endorsed by the Reform Federation’s board representing 116 Reform synagogues in the greater metropolitan area, and earlier in the week by the New York Association of Reform Rabbis. Both bodies had previously endorsed the concept of “scatter site” housing followed by the city administration and the Forest Hills project specifically.
SUPPORTERS OF PROJECT PRAISED
Rabbi Marx said the new committee would be made up of Forest Hills residents, representatives of local community organizations and prospective eligible tenants of the huge housing project. Rabbi Marx said Golar told him and Mrs. Miller such an advisory group would serve as a model for future public housing programs throughout New York City.
The proposed advisory committee would deal with tenant selection within the framework of housing authority guidelines, security for the project and the neighboring community, social service programs for the project tenants and local area residents, tenant information and training, management, maintenance and eviction policies, schools and transportation methods.
Rabbi Herbert Rose of Jericho, president of the Association of Reform Rabbis, praised the “courage” of those clergymen and laymen of all faiths “who have spoken out and supposition.” A statement approved by the Reform Federation’s board noted that the UAHC had adopted at its recent convention a resolution favoring the scattersite approach including Forest Hills.