NEW YORK (Jul. 13)
The Association of Jewish Anti-Poverty Workers has asked for an investigation of the Community Action for Legal Services (CALS), a federally funded agency, which is suing in New York County Supreme Court to overturn a recent law prohibiting elections to the New York City anti-poverty boards on the Sabbath. S. Elly Rosen, executive director of the Association disclosed today that he has asked Sens. Jacob K. Javits (R. NY) and James Buckley (R.-Cons. NY) to exert pressure on CALS which is funded by the US Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO).
“What right do they have to use federal funds to fight against the rights of the Jewish poor?” Rosen asked in a letter to the Senators. “How can an anti-poverty legal service take sides in an issue which is clearly anti-Jewish?” CALS has brought suit on behalf of several Black citizens demanding that poverty board elections be held on a Saturday which, according to some spokesmen, is the preferred day of the Black community.
Rosen noted that Saturday elections were outlawed earlier this year in bills introduced and passed by the NY City Council and the State Legislature on grounds that they disenfranchised observant Jews. Rosen said the Association of Jewish Anti-Poverty Workers planned to file a friend-of-the-court brief in the case and to take other legal action.