Jewish delegates and alternates at the Republican Party’s convention aggregate 71 or less than three percent of the 2696 representatives from all parts of the United States. This percentage is almost in precise proportion to the Jews–an estimated six million–in the country’s total population of 210 million. Jewish representatives at the Democratic Party’s convention here in June totaled “300-plus,” according to that party’s national committee, of the 3018 delegates and alternates or about 10 percent.
In both Republican and Democratic conventions, and especially among the Democrats, some states allowed representatives half or even quarter votes. Thus, percentages on proportions must be considered in this light. The Republican statistic was derived from a delegate and alternate list prepared by the party’s “Jewish Vote Division” and made available to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by Mrs. Esther Weinrott, the sculptor and wife of Judge Leo Weinrott of Philadelphia. Mrs. Weinrott, who is co-chairman with Mrs. John Eisenhower of the “Pledges to the President” organization in Pennsylvania, and Mrs. Roslyn Levit, also of Philadelphia, and a leader in the Pennsylvania committee to re-elect the President, were hostesses at a cocktail party given for the Jewish representatives yesterday at the Fontainebleau Hotel by Max Fisher, the Detroit industrialist and philanthropist and friend of President Nixon.
HALF THE STATES HAVE JEWS
Almost exactly half of the states–24–have Jews among their delegations. New York State with 20 out of 176 delegates and alternates has the highest number. Pennsylvania with eight out of 120 is second. Arizona, Connecticut, New Jersey have four each. Massachusetts, Illinois and Texas have three each. Michigan, Missouri and Oklahoma have two and Alaska, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, West Virginia each have one.
While few of the Jewish Republicans among the delegates hold national prominence, many are outstanding in state and local politics. Thus, for example, the three Massachusetts Jewish members are Frank Freedman who is Mayor of Springfield; Mrs. Rosalind Brooker, a lawyer who is the only woman member of New Bedford’s City Council and a state committee woman, and Mrs. Aileen H. Belford, of Fall River, also a lawyer and a state committeewoman, who was for seven years assistant attorney general of Massachusetts.
The Missouri delegation’s chairman is Lawrence K. Roos, the chief executive of St. Louis County. Alfred J. Fleischer, also of St. Louis, is the state party’s finance chairman. The vice-chairman of the Minnesota delegation is Rudy Boschwitz of Minneapolis, a national GOP committeeman.
Among Connecticut’s representatives is Julius M, Wilensky, the Mayor of Stamford, Arizona’s group includes Republican state chairman Harry Rosenzweig and state finance chairman Burton Kruglick. A Kentucky delegate is Theodore H. Lavit, a lawyer from Lebanon who is a county chairman. Michigan sent Alfred A, May, head of Michigan’s first Congressional district, and David Laro, of Flint, a county chairman. Mrs. Sari Reingold of Henrietta, Okla., near Tulsa, leads Oklahoma’s second Congressional district.
Perhaps the leading Jewish figure in the Republican convention organization is Mrs. Ellie Selig of Seguin, Texas, chairman of the all-important credentials committee. She is deputy state chairman of Texas, where she has been living for 27 years. Mrs. Selig, a native of Spring Valley, N.Y., is the wife of Marvin Selig. “I’m just a housewife,” Mrs. Selig modestly told JTA. Martin Feldman, a New Orleans lawyer, is secretary of the Louisiana delegation.
Besides those already named as convention participants, some Jews holding state or municipal offices who are representing their states at the convention include: Philadelphia District Attorney Arlen Specter, New York State Senator Roy B. Goodman, Pennsylvania State Senator Robert Rovner, Phillip D. Kaltenbacher, of the New Jersey Legislature and Robert F. Silverstein, of the Charleston, W. Va. city council who is president of that city’s Jewish Federation.
California’s sole Jewish representative is Albert Spiegel, a Beverly Hills lawyer, who told the JTA that he became a candidate for delegate after “I read your report in the JTA Bulletin on the Jewish representation at the Democratic convention.” Ohio’s only Jewish delegate is Saul G. Stillman, a state committeeman and chairman of the county board of electors which embraces Cleveland. Alaska’s delegation includes Moe Kadish, who left Los Angeles four years ago to establish a lady’s retail clothing store in Anchorage and is now the party’s state finance chairman. Alaska has only 190 Jewish souls, Kadish told JTA. From Nebraska is Dr. B.N. Greenberg, a physician who was formerly a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
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.