The charge that discriminatory practices against Jews are widespread among summer resorts in Maine was made by the Portland Telegram. The charge was based on personal investigations of the situation by a reporter.
The Portland Telegram article quotes a Maine travel official as saying that “most resort owners are scared to death that if they allow Jews in, some of the regular clients who have made up the backbone of their business for years will go, It is true too that some Maine operators are rabidly anti-Semitic, but they are in the distinct minority.”
The paper pointed up the inadequacy of the current anti-discrimination law in Maine which prohibits discriminatory advertising, but does not prevent actual discrimination. A bill to expand the law was defeated in the State Legislature in 1953. In contrast, he stressed the successful operation of anti-discrimination laws in all New England states except Maine and New Hampshire.
The investigation of the situation by the paper was conducted on the basis of tests undertaken by Dr. Benjamin Zolov of Portland, state chairman of the Anti-Defamation League and data gathered by the New England Regional office of the League. The article quotes Dr. Zolov on the results of six calls made to Maine resorts after July 4 in which the categoric question as to whether Jews were accepted as guests was asked. The answer in each case was “no.” Further checks bore out the figures of a survey showing that 63 percent of Maine resorts discriminate against Jews.
ADL officials, commenting on the exclusionary policies of so large a group of Maine resorts, said it is a “problem that Maine officials must face up to if they are to protect the important resort industry of the State.” At the same time, Dr. Zolov revealed that Jewish leaders are planning a state-wide conference on the problem in Portland on September 21.
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.