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Ajcongress Says Groups Opposed to Quotas Should Find New Ways to Help Minorities Advance

The American Jewish Congress declared yesterday that Jewish and non-Jewish groups opposed to quotas on constitutional grounds have a special obligation to find “new ways to help minorities move more rapidly into the mainstream of American life.”

In a 109-page report analyzing 20 recent civil rights decisions affecting the Jewish community, the agency also called for “a new and strong commitment” by such groups “to help achieve racial justice in American without resorting to racial preference.”

Naomi Levine, AJ Congress executive director, said, in releasing the study, that it was “not enough to attack ‘affirmative action’ plans that result in reverse discrimination.” She said “We who oppose such programs have the obligation to find alternative means of helping minority group members in keeping with essential constitutional guarantees of equal protection for all.”

She said such efforts should include greater funding for special remedial education programs, broader opportunities for medical and other education, increased scholarship aid, special programs to seek out and train potentially qualified individuals from minority groups and the devising and use of “employment tests that are genuinely job-related.”

She declared that on the issue of admission to colleges and graduate schools, “non-racial factors which may account for relatively poor academic records and test scores of some applicants–such as cultural deprivation, poverty and inadequate early education–should be considered in selection processes.” She said that by taking “such elements into account, we would go for toward correcting the present exclusion of minorities from the mainstream of society.”

Mrs. Levine added that “most important of all is a new and strong commitment to tackle the problems of poverty, poor health care and inadequate educational opportunities that hold back so many Americans of all races and ethnic groups.”

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