New York Negro Newspaper Criticized for ‘twisting’ Data on Jews
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New York Negro Newspaper Criticized for ‘twisting’ Data on Jews

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The New York Amsterdam News, a leading Negro weekly newspaper, was severely criticized here today by Jewish organizations–as well as by the Protestant Council of the City of New York–for a report in its current issue alleging that “a highly confidential study” had established that “Jews control New York City’s top Jobs. ” The Amsterdam News also asserted that the study demonstrated that Jews “hold 53 percent of top positions” in city government, though they constitute only 26.4 percent of the city’s population.

The newspaper did not indicate who conducted the “secret” survey but implied that it was done by Protestants. Protestant leaders who read the study told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Negro newspaper “twisted” the data and gave it a distorted interpretation. The Urban League of Greater New York, a Negro organization, also criticized the Amsterdam News report.

The Amsterdam News reported that the survey had “far reaching racial implications” since it had been indicated that about 85 percent of the city’s Protestants are Negroes. According to the Amsterdam News version, one of the survey’s conclusions was that “Jews tend to get Jobs far in excess of their percentage of the population” and that Jews “are overrepresented in 31 categories and underrepresented in five categories” in city positions. ” The Amsterdam News report said that the “results and conclusions” were based on a study of “the 2,444 top city positions, with a total of 2,161 persons reporting their religious affiliation.”

Among “specific results” cited by the Amsterdam News as arising from the study were that “in the city and borough administrative offices, of 656 persons who reported a religious affiliation, 310 were Catholic, 271 were Jewish and only 75 Protestant.”

The field of education, according to the Negro weekly’s version of the study, “had the greatest disparity, where of 821 religious affiliations reported, 606 were Jewish, 161 Catholic and 54 Protestant. ” The judiciary, the weekly asserted, “both appointive and elective, showed that “of 541 reporting their religion, 279 are Catholic, 214 Jewish and 48 are Protestant.”

Among elected state legislators, the Amsterdam News said, “of 135 with religious preference reported, 64 are Catholic, 60 Jewish and only 11 Protestant. On an overall total of the 2,161 persons in top city posts, 1,154 are Jewish, 818 Catholic and 189 Protestant.”


The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith said in a statement: “We deplore the way in which the story was written, distorting the meaning and intent of the alleged study. ADL’s New York Board is making representations to the publisher of the New York Amsterdam News.”

The American Jewish Committee declared in a statement that it knew nothing about “the statistical accuracy of the survey” because “we have neither the means nor the desire to ascertain” the religious affiliations of job-holders.

“However, not wanting to debate the accuracy of the findings of the survey, we deplore the unfair inferences of favoritism implicit in the story in the Amsterdam News–inferences unworthy of that newspaper’s editor, since we understand they are not to be found in the survey which was the source of the story.”

The AJCommittee added: “We imagine that Catholics, Protestants and Jews alike should be equally motivated to seek to serve the total population of New York City, in every department of its government, The call to public service is, or should be, a lofty one, though in many instances it may entail financial sacrifice. The unselfish devoted contributions made by the late Stanley M. Isaacs to New York City for many years, should be an example to all.”

The executive committee of the American Jewish Congress called a meeting for tomorrow night to consider the Amsterdam News report.

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