Newark Has First Jewish Commissioner
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Newark Has First Jewish Commissioner

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For the first time since commission form of governfent went into effect in this city in 1917, Newark has a Jewish City Commissioner. Dr. Meyer C. Ellenstein was named by the four other commissioners to head the Department of Public Welfare, made vacant nearly a month ago by the death of the late Commissioner John F. Murray, Jr.

Dr. Ellenstein was a candidate for commissioner at the last city election in May, 1929, running sixth and polling more than 33,000 votes. In view of this a strong move was made to have him named to the Murray vacancy. The four remaining commissioners took more than 150 ballots before they finally agreed upon Ellenstein, and several days of discussion were. Directors Egan and Gillen, Democrats, urged his selection from the very beginning of the balloting, while Mayor Congleton and Director Howe, Republicans, urged appointment of a member of Murray’s official family.

Among the hundreds who appeared before the Commission to urge the Ellenstein appointment were Rabbi Solomon Foster, of Temple B’nai Jeshurun; Rabbi Julius Silberfeld, of Temple B’nai Abraham; Edgar S. Bamberger, and among others, a representative Negro as well as the head of the Greek-American Association of Newark. Director Egan specifically stated that he believed the Jews of Newark were entitled to have one of their faith on the City Commission because they were among the largest tax payers and representative of a strong business element.

Dr. Ellenstein is a native of Paterson but has lived here the greater part of his life. He is affiliated with many fraternal groups; is Exalted Ruler of the Elks and treasurer of the Hebrew Orphans Sheltering Institution.

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