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Reagan Dismisses Three Jewish Chaplains; Black Leader Charges This Is Anti-Semitism

March 9, 1971
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Governor Ronald Reagan’s dismissal of three Jewish chaplains, the entire complement ministering on a full time basis to patients of that faith in California’s 14 mental hospitals, is a “blatant act of anti-Semitism.” That was the statement today of Percy Moore, executive director of Oakland’s anti-poverty program and the president of the California Community Action Program Directors Association, a state-wide organization composed of anti-poverty leaders. Moore, who is black, said that the elimination of all three Jewish chaplains, effective July 1, while some 33 Catholic and Protestant chaplains are retained for full-time work in the mental hospitals, is “nothing more than a blatant act of anti-Semitism that is right in line with other recent acts of the Governor that discriminate against the poor and the sick, and with special impact of those of the minority groups.”

The other acts Moore referred to were the Governor’s veto last week of funding for the Oakland anti-poverty program, which last year benefitted some 41,000 of the city’s poor, and his veto in January of the California Rural Legal Assistance program. “In both cases,” Moore said, “Governor Reagan’s action was of a purely discriminatory effect since the majority of beneficiaries of both programs were the minority groups of the Black. Chiasna Oriental and American Indian. And what makes it even worse is that the Governor’s action was taken for motives as cold as his excuse of “economy” for removal of the Jewish chaplains.” Moore concluded: “Such arrogant actions are typical of the thinking that generates the anti-Semitism which Reagan has now evidenced by his callous disregard for the religious needs of those of the Jewish minority suffering in the state’s mental hospitals.”

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