Former American Jewish Congress leader William Maslow died in his Manhattan home. The civil rights lawyer died last Friday at the age of 99. Born in Kiev in 1907, Maslow moved to the United States with his family in 1911. Maslow served as general counsel to the AJCongress from 1945 to 1960, and as executive director from 1960 to 1972, guiding the organizationâ€™s fight against discrimination to the court system. Under Maslowâ€™s direction, the AJCongress fought housing restrictions on Jews in many American communities, as well as discriminatory hiring and admissions policies at U.S. companies and universities. His work for the black community included filing AJCongressâ€™ amicus brief in Brown v. Board of Education and helping organize the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.â€™s march on Washington. He also founded the Commission on Law and Social Action, modeled after the ACLU and NAACP. A nephew of Paula Ben-Gurion, wife of Israelâ€™s first prime minister, Maslow was a dedicated Zionist and helped lead Israelâ€™s fight against the Arab economic boycott in the 1970s.
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