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American Jewish Committee Discusses Maciver Report at Parley

October 17, 1951
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

An extended discussion of the report by Prof. Robert M. Maclver on the work of Jewish organizations engaged in fighting anti-Semitism in the United States took place at the final session of the executive committee of the American Jewish Committee at the Stevens Hotel here.

The session reaffirmed the American Jewish Committee’s position that local community relations councils, aware of the local needs, pressure points and local problems, “should accept full responsibility” for handling local problems while calling on the resources and experience of national agencies for assistance. “We have long recognized the need for improved co-ordination of Jewish agencies’ activities in the community relations field and wholeheartedly believe this to be possible,” the Committee said in a statement.

Irving M. Engel of New York, chairman of the executive committee, declared that “in this day of international uncertainty, it is important that the American people strengthen their defenses in every possible field and the field of community relations is one of the most important.” The American Jewish Committee, he added, is convinced that well planned and thoughtfully executed community relations activities are indispensable to the security of America.

“Community relations,” he explained, “is concerned with the breeding ground of prejudice–with inadequate teachings about racial and religious factors to the children of America’s public schools. Community relations is concerned with under lying tensions, fears, and anxieties which can be exploited by aspirant demagogues and political self-seekers to the detriment of one or another of the minority groups in America and to the detriment of America itself.”

Commenting on the role of Jewish community relations agencies in this field, Mr. Engel asserted that the efforts of community relations organizations with similar objectives should be increasingly harmonized wherever possible on the basis of mutual understanding and mutual respect for divergent viewpoints.

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