600 Persons Map Ways to Deal with Anti-semitism in the Farm Belt

Some 600 persons, joined by representatives of state and local governments, various Jewish organizations and the Black community, gathered at Kehilath Israel sanctuary here last week for a forum on the farm crisis and rural anti-Semitism.

According to a report in the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle, David Goldstein, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Bureau of Greater Kansas City, described the work Jewish communities throughout the country are doing for the farmers.

“We’re committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with our rural brothers and sisters to help alleviate the problems facing family farmers, “said Goldstein. He told the forum of the policy resolution adopted recently by the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council which urged its 13 national and 113 community constituent agencies to aid in easing the plight of American farmers.

The concern of anti-Semitism in the farm belt, where extremist groups have sought to use Jews and other minorities as scapegoats for the deteriorating farm situation, was addressed by Leonard Zeskind, research director of the Atlanta-based Center for Democratic Renewal.

The Chronicle reported that Zeskind warned that extremists working throughout rural America are not like those with which the Jewish community is familiar. He said that instead of donning brown shirts, these groups dress their rhetoric in concern for family farmers.

Zeskind added the Chronicle article reported that racist groups began their activities in the farm belt nearly five years ago. “So we’re coming into this behind the 8-ball … and we’ve got a lot of catching up to do, “Zeskind declared.

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