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Cleveland Federation and Foundation Underwrite Program to Combat Business Bias

September 30, 1969
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Cleveland Jewish Community Federation and the Cleveland Foundation are underwriting a $60,000 three-year program designed to help major industrial companies in the Cleveland area recruit, retain and promote qualified Jews in managerial positions, according to Robert Hexter, chairman of the Committee on Executive Suite Discrimination of the Cleveland chapter of the American Jewish Committee.

The project has two goals: to eliminate discriminatory practices that still exist in the hiring and promoting patterns of major industries in the Cleveland area, and to encourage young Jews to apply for executive positions.

“This is a program that can benefit everyone,” stated Mr. Hexter. “Companies are yearning for good talent, and talented young Jews want good jobs. But the Jewish executive has been bypassed by discriminatory policies that exist among middle-level executives despite top management’s desire to pursue an open-door policy. It is also a fact that young Jews have felt excluded from major companies because of the Anglo-Saxon image these companies have built up over the years.”

The new program will be administered jointly by the Cleveland chapter of the AJ Committee and the Cleveland Jewish Vocational Service, a recruiting and employment advisory agency and an affiliate of the national Jewish Occupational Council. A grant of $12,000, has been received for the program from the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland. The Cleveland Foundation, through the Anisfield Wolf Fund, has made a grant of $39,400 toward a total budget of $60,000.

The $12,000 grant from the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland marks the first time that a local coordinating group for Jewish philanthropy has made a major financial contribution to an action project having to do with executive suite discrimination. It is to be applied to the first 18 months of the project’s operation, with an option for an additional grant for the second half of the program. The project is a direct result of a research study conducted under the auspices of the AJ Committee by the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and underwritten by the same federation and foundations that are now supporting the follow-up action program.

The report of this study, titled “The Chosen Few” and released in May 1968, indicated a wide gap between nondiscriminatory personnel policies as expressed by top management of major companies and actual personnel practices as executed by middle-level executives.

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