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ADL Head Urges Fresh View on Jewish Stand on State-church Issue

January 30, 1967
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dore Schary, chairman of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, called upon the ADL here today to reexamine its traditionally strong stand regarding the principle of the separation of church from state, especially as that issue relates to education.

Mr. Schary made that proposal in addressing the 54th annual meeting of its national commissioners, which opened Friday and is scheduled to conclude its policy-making deliberations tomorrow. Other principal matters before the current session included a major address by Philip M. Klutznick, honorary president of B’nai B’rith; Benjamin R, Epstein, ADL national director; Arnold R. Forster, ADL general counsel; a report showing that the Ku Klux Klan has increased its strength in the South in the last year from 20,000 members to 50,000; and another report disclosing that Mexico City has now become the center for the publication and widespread Latin American distribution of anti-Semitic books in Spanish.

The ADL chairman said that the educational needs of the country demand an inspection of the U.S. Jewish position on state-church relations today because an educational church state alliance might produce fewer dangers than those “inherent in perpetuating poverty by failing to provide those educational services whereby today’s children will be equipped to earn a living as adults.”

“Our goals and our methods,” he stated, “are free of religious bigotry. While we believe that free universal public education is intrinsic to the creation of a just society, we recognize and have always supported the right of any religious group to establish and maintain schools of a parochial nature. The Constitutional separation of church and state has served us too well as a nation and as a religious people for us to dispense with it lightly or easily to tolerate any threat to its continuing; this does not mean, however, that we are unwilling to explore, to talk, to understand and to act, if action is indeed indicated.”


Mr. Klutznick, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, who, in addition to being honorary president of B’nai B’rith, is also honorary vice-president of the ADL., told the commissioners that the expanded role of government in social welfare fields will do as much to reshape the programs of Jewish voluntary organizations in America as did the European holocaust and the rebirth of Israel. He held that “dramatic shifts” in government responsibility make necessary “an intelligent, independent probing of realities and potentials” for non-government agencies.

Declaring that the “proudest boasts” of the Jewish community have been the quantity and quality of its communal services — hospitals, medical care, child care, problems of the elderly and mental health — he said the new and enormous role of government in these fields will release voluntary funds for use in other areas. The next 25 years, Mr. Klutznick said, will provide the American Jewish community with an opportunity to redistribute its resources and energies toward creating “the most meaningful religious, cultural and special educational activities for Jews that history has ever known.”

Questioning the depth of advancement in Jewish religious culture and education, Mr. Klutznick noted that one of the principal deterrents to greater development has been the priority accorded to physical survival. With that priority lifted, he said, Jewish voluntary organizations can concentrate more on Jewish education for youth, the training of much needed teachers and youth leaders, and the creation of curricula attuned to modern Jewish needs.

“It is demeaning to the essence and moral values of Judaism,” he declared, “to countenance the idea that Judaism will be lost in a new freedom from civil oppression and economic disadvantage.” Such prophets of doom, however, force Jews to think and to act on how to achieve “the greatest degree of progress which tomorrow offers, ” Mr. Klutznick stated.

The commissioners heard addresses by U.S. Sen. Jacob K. Javits and New York State Supreme Court Justice J. Irwin Shapiro, and, tonight, presented its America’s Democratic Legacy Award to Under Secretary of State Nicholas deb. Katzenbach.


The report on the establishment of anti-Semitic printing and hate literature distribution centers in Mexico City and environs was given by Moses Kove, chairman of the ADL’s foreign relations committee. Many of those anti-Semitic works, in addition to being distributed throughout Latin America, are being stocked and sold in sizable quantities among Spanish-speaking customers in New York and Miami, he said.

Mr. Kove said that several of the anti-Semitic books portray Communism as a “Jewish plot” and that it was believed that the anti-Communist feelings of the refugees, rather than anti-Semitism as such, accounted for the interest. New York booksellers also reported a preponderance of Cuban buyers for these books. He reported that New Orleans, Los Angeles and Chicago reputedly are also distribution centers for the thriving book business. He said one of the best sellers in New York is a 700-page book “World Defeat,” by Salvador Borreggo, a Mexican, which charges a Jewish conspiracy in international affairs. It shows reliance of the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which is also being sold here under a Spanish title.

The report on the KKK’s growth was given by Mr. Schary, who disclosed that “the most alarming growth” in Klan membership took place in Virginia, which in the last year increased its membership by 750 percent; in Georgia, where the increase totaled 175 percent; and in Alabama, which had upped its KKK membership 100 percent since the beginning of last summer. Mr. Forster warned that para-military groups in the United States are training would-be assassins and plotting armed enforcement of their “violent racial and political doctrines.

Mr. Epstein told the commissioners that city clubs were moving with the times in eliminating religious bias, but that country clubs persisted in their “incrusted bigotry.” He compared a 1962 sampling of 1,152 city and country clubs with a newly-completed re-sampling. He reported that 505 country clubs restricted or barred Jews four years ago, and 498 continued to do so now.

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