Leading Jewish organizations in New York City learned yesterday with surprise of a meeting held Wednesday night at the Aster Hotel, where plans for the establishment in New York of a Jewish university of a non-sectarian character were discussed and the statement made that a Brooklynite who wished to remain anonymous is ready to subscribe the amount of $200,000 toward the project, provided an additional sum of $300,000 is raised by subscription. The $500,000 are needed in order to comply with the New York State law which provides that a charter for a university may be issued if this amount is at hand.
The meeting was addressed by former United States Attorney William A. De Groot of Brooklyn, who was recently ousted from office by the Department of Justice. Mr. De Groot encouraged the project and stated that the sponsorship by Jews of a non-sectarian university might help “to get away from this idea of the Methodist college, the Catholic college and others.”
Inquiries made by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency as to the identity of the anonymous donor brought forth the reply that he was a Catholic, a resident of Brooklyn.
Murry Boxer, former Assistant United States Attorney, over whose recent resignation from office a controversy is raging as to whether it was caused by anti-Semitism or not, was the convener of the meeting. Mr. Boxer, in an interview with the representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency at his office, 305 Broadway, declared that it was he who persuaded the anonymous Catholic donor to pledge the amount of $200,000 toward the project.
Mr. Boxer admitted that he has not consulted any of the prominent Jewish leaders or any of the leading Jewish organizations, as he felt, he stated, “they will oppose the project just as they have been in opposition to other vital Jewish projects and movements, including the Zionist movement.” The project of a non-sectarian university under Jewish auspices is not motivated by opposition to other universities, Mr. Boxer was eager to make clear. It is intended to help the Jewish student and the professors who are meeting with discrimination at other institutions of learning.
Asked whether the $500,000 would guarantee the successful launching of the project or its efficient continuation, Mr. Boxer explained that in his view the only department of the university which will need communal support is the school of arts and sciences, while the other departments, such as law and medicine, would be self-supporting, as are these departments in other collages. It will be a slow but gradual development, he said.
At the Wednesday night meeting at the Astor Hotel a committee was (Continued on Page 4)
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.