WASHINGTON (Oct. 29)
The Federal Times, a Washington weekly reporting developments affecting government personnel, says Jewish employes at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have organized to combat anti-Semitism within the agency.
In its current edition, the Federal Times said that the employes one “troubled by a perceived insensitivity of upper management-federal employes” and “are organizing a Jewish caucus to protect their rights and push for more active enforcement of equal employment opportunity.”
Interviewing HUD personnel about the article by Winston Wood, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned that a Jewish group is being formally organized both for professional and cultural purposes as well as to combat unfair treatment.
SEVERAL CASES OF BIAS PRESENTED TO ADL
It was pointed out that several cases of discrimination against Jews have been presented to the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and one case has entered legal proceedings. One allegation was that time off for Jewish holidays has been refused in some instances although federal policy is to accommodate religious personnel.
In cultural pursuits, the Jewish group plans an exhibit at HUD in conjunction with the Jewish Book Month Nov. 2-Dec. 2 which is under the national auspices of the JWB Jewish Book Council and to organize Hebrew conversation and Jewish heritage classes. Of the approximately 4000 employes at HUD’s main offices here, about 300, or less than 10 percent, are believed to be Jewish.
HUD officials told JTA that HUD Secretary Moon Landrieu is concerned about the discrimination allegations and is seeking to eliminate them. As Mayor of New Orleans, Landrieu developed a reputation for strong support for civil rights, the officials said. “His staff is working with the Jewish groups,” a Landrieu aide told JTA. “If there is discrimination he’ll do what he can to eliminate it. Thus for, however, no list of grievances has been presented and “no formal request” to see Landrieu has been made, the aide said.