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City Information-gathering Form Rapped for Excluding Jews from Questionnaire

December 23, 1971
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Association of Jewish Anti-Poverty Workers charged today that Jews were deliberately excluded from an information-gathering form circulated by the Community Development Agency to ascertain which groups in the city are benefiting from anti-poverty programs. The charge was made by S. Elly Rosen, executive director of the Association, in a letter to Chairman Eleanor Holmes Norton of the City Commission on Human Rights.

Rosen accused Commissioner Major Owens of the CDA, the city’s official overseer of anti-poverty programs, of “wilfully and maliciously” excluding Jews from a statistical form known as MIS which is being sent to the city’s 26 Community Corporations in poverty areas and to hundreds of delegate agencies, Mrs. Norton told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency this morning that she had not received the letter.

The MIS form, according to Rosen, lists nine racial and ethnic groups such as Blacks, Puerto Ricans, Mexican-Americans, Indians, Haitians, “and then for the ‘rest’ it lists ‘Others.'” That designation, Rosen said, “apparently has become a new name for Jews in this town.”


He said in his letter to Commissioner Norton that “It is particularly vicious of the CDA to do this now, months after an admission by the HRA (City Human Resources Administration) and the OEO (Federal Office of Economic Opportunity) that Jews are not being adequately served by poverty programs in this city.” Rosen added that “one of CDA’s arguments is that information on this matter is difficult to obtain.”

He claimed that the CDA was not really interested in the data or it would have included Jews in its list since Jews form the third largest poverty group in the city. “I do not know how many Indians and Mexican-Americans we have in this city but I do know that the Jews are really concerned over the increasing indications that there are those in positions of power in this city seeking to undermine the Jewish community,” Rosen declared in a statement for the Association. He claimed that Commissioner Owens was “stalling and unable or unwilling to give an acceptable response.”

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